There was a five-goal thriller, suspense, smiles, tears of joy and pain as the final teams for the last 16 were decided.
Switzerland edged Serbia 3-2 in the most productive match of the day to join Brazil in the round of 16 as South Korea defeated Portugal to gatecrash into the knockout stages.
But for Pulse of the Day, while the last matchday of the group stage produced 11 goals in four matches, the focus was on African representatives, Ghana and Cameroon – two nations who went into the last game with a chance to join Senegal and Morocco in the last 16. It turned out to be a bitter-sweet end for both teams.
Ghana crashes but drags Uruguay down in bitter-sweet defeat
It was a bitter-sweet moment for every Ghanaian after an emotional game against Uruguay on Friday evening.
Ghanaians are in an ecstatic mood right now despite their Black Stars crashing out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Ghana lost 2-0 to nemesis Luis Suarez-inspired Uruguay to end their World Cup campaign in defeat.
The Black Stars went into the game in need of a draw (if the other result goes in their favour) or an outright win in a game overshadowed by events of 12 years ago when Suarez infamously denied Ghana a historic semi-final ticket at the 2010 World Cup.
Ghana and Ghanaians have not moved from that fateful day and went into the game on Friday in search of revenge. However, the revenge they wanted came in a different manner – with a touch of deja vu.
As they did 12 years ago, Ghana missed another penalty against the South Americans, this time through Dede Ayew, which cost them once again as Suarez inspired Uruguay to a 2-0 win.
The defeat meant Ghana crashed out of the World Cup but Ghanaians celebrated the loss after Suarez and Uruguay joined them to book the flight back home.
The result was not enough for Suarez, who humanised the popular line ‘Ghana Must Go” with his display on the day.
But for him and his teammates, it ended in premium tears as Portugal failed to help them out in the other group game against South Korea.
So, what the Black Stars couldn’t do themselves – make Suarez cry, South Korea helped them achieve in the most dramatic way.
Cameroon exits on a high
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon became the first African team to beat Brazil at the FIFA World Cup on Friday night.
Cameroon delivered a masterclass display to defeat the five-time World Champions 1-0 in their final game in the group stage.
Captain fantastic, Vincent Aboubakar was the hero again after he scored the only goal in added time. It was a wonderful finish with his head and the Saudi Arabia-based forward celebrated by removing his shirt.
He was subsequently booked by the referee, who had no choice but to send him off thereafter as it was his second yellow.
Of course, not that Aboubakar cared, the job was done and the Lions sealed a famous win, which was unfortunately not enough to see them through to the next round.
As a result, Cameroon exits Qatar 2022 at the group stage, not what Samuel Eto’o predicted but the Indomitable Lions left with their heads held high.