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Gabriel Martinelli 'Star of the Show' as Brazil Clinches World Cup Group Despite Loss

Doric SamDecember 2, 2022

LUSAIL, QATAR - DECEMBER 2: (L-R) Gabriel Martinelli of Brazil, Collins Fai of Cameroon during the  World Cup match between Cameroon  v Brazil at the Lusail Stadium on December 2, 2022 in Lusail Qatar (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

Brazil suffered a 1-0 loss to Cameroon in its final group-stage match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Friday but still advanced to the round of 16 in the top spot of Group G.

One player stood out thanks to his energy and effort as Brazil rested most of its top players. Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli had an impressive showing and provided excitement for the fans at Lusail Stadium.

Making his first start for Brazil, Martinelli put pressure on Cameroon's defenders early and often. The 21-year-old Arsenal star put three shots on goal, the first on a header in the 14th minute that was saved by Cameroon goalkeeper Devis Epassy.

He sent another shot on goal in stoppage time before the end of the first half and again in the 56th minute, both of which Epassy saved as part of his eight saves in the shutout. Martinelli's last attempt in stoppage time was off the mark.

Observers on social media were impressed by Martinelli's standout performance for Brazil, and many hope to see more of him during the knockout stage:

Phil McNulty @philmcnulty

Cameroon 0 Brazil 0 at HT. Entertaining game. Martinelli the star of the show.

Elvis πŸ‡¬πŸ‡­ @Kayjnr10

The only threat upfront in the Brazil attack is Gabriel Martinelli.<br><br>Man has been solid but for the Cameroonian keeper, would have scored a couple of goals in this match

BBC Sport @BBCSport

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> is not a bad place to make your first start for Brazil πŸ‡§πŸ‡·<br><br>Gabriel Martinelli does not look out of place πŸ’«<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCFootball?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BBCFootball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBCWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BBCWorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/kjdRLKkibp">pic.twitter.com/kjdRLKkibp</a>

β‹†π—‘π—²π˜†π—Ίπ—Όπ—Ήπ—²π—Ύπ˜‚π—² πŸ‡§πŸ‡· @Neymoleque

Half time thoughts:<br><br>- Martinelli has been electrifying, our best player in the first half<br>- Rodrygo started timid but started to find his groove<br>- Antony started off strong but faded away<br>- Gabriel Jesus has been non existent, would like to see Pedro come on for him

Nick Bright @NickBrightDJ

Can’t wait for all the non arsenal fans to say how good Martinelli is after this game. Like we ain’t been telling you πŸ™„

Tim Stillman @Stillmanator

Martinelli comfortably Brazil’s brightest player so far.

Tierney & Saka @babyface2000ad

Martinelli has been Brazil's best player today against Cameroon, He is a joy to watch. The only thing keeping him from starting for brazil is Vinicius and maybe the coach. <a href="https://t.co/4ofrmP8YaA">pic.twitter.com/4ofrmP8YaA</a>

Sir Alper @TreeAtTheBack

Seeing Martinelli and Antony on opposing wings for the same team makes it so clear how much more effective Martinelli is

evan 》 @afcevan

I'm hearing Martinelli is lighting it up for Brasil tonight..

Arsenal Presser @APresserV2

Martinelli has surpassed all my expectations. Elite talent

Ya’qub πŸ’¦ @UncleYakub

As an Arsenal fan, I’m super thankful that Martinelli plays for us. Boy is a baller!

𝐀𝐅𝐂‒ πƒπ˜ππ€π’π“π˜ πŸ’Ž @Gooner_Dynasty

The scout that discovered Gabriel Martinelli deserves a raise, absolute gem.

Brazil is slated to face South Korea on Monday in the round of 16. The team will be motivated to get a better result, and it has found a weapon in Martinelli.

As the favorite to win the tournament, Brazil should use every weapon at its disposal, and the youngster could play a big role as the team tries to win a sixth World Cup title.