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Paulinho plays his part as hosts win group

23 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur

Paulinho played the first 45 minutes as Brazil made sure of a first place finish in their group with a 4-1 win over Cameroon at the World Cup on Monday evening.

Our central midfielder lined up in the host nation’s starting XI for the third consecutive game in Group A, going close to opening the scoring in only the second minute when he surged into the box and swept the ball towards goal – only to see it blocked just yards from the line.

Soon after Neymar’s opener for Brazil, Paulinho got in behind the Cameroon defence and laid on a superb chance for the onrushing Fred, but opposing goalkeeper Charles Itandje was able to smother the ball to prevent it from crossing the goal-line.

Joe Matip temporarily got Cameroon back on level terms five minutes later, but a second goal from Neymar before the interval put Brazil back in control. Fred extended his side’s lead four minutes into the second period before Fernandinho, who replaced Paulinho at half-time, wrapped it up with six minutes left.

Hugo Lloris – France’s captain – is the next Spurs player due to be in action at the tournament when Les Bleus take on Ecuador in their final Group E outing on Wednesday, kick-off 9pm.