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CAMEROON NO MATCH FOR BRILLIANT BRAZILIANS

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Brazil already has done the expected. It's hardly enough.

Brazil's masters of creativity snaked through the Cameroon defense and into the second round of the World Cup on Friday. The Brazilians became the first team to advance in the tournament. Their 3-0 victory on goals by Romario, Marcio Santos and Bebeto, gave them six points in Group B. They can finish no worse than second in the group."Brazil is on the right track, but we haven't won anything yet," Bebeto said. "A lot is still missing, but we certainly will improve. There's a lot left to do."

Cameroon is 0-1-1 and needs to beat Russia on Tuesday to have a chance for the second round.

Using strikers Romario and Bebeto to unnerve Cameroon's overloaded defense, Brazil dominated play.

"We want to be first in our group, and we feel we're advancing well," said Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo, Brazil assistant coach. "But we must be concerned about all adversaries."

Cameroon, whose unpaid players abandoned a strike threat Thursday, never got untracked, never resembled the 1990 team that became the first African nation to reach the quarterfinals.

Striker David Embe said the lingering financial dispute with the Cameroon Football Federation has been draining and exasperating for team members.

"We have not received any money and don't know if or when we will," said Embe, adding the players feuded with federation officials before the game, when their latest assurances of pay again proved empty.

Nevertheless, Embe said the players never seriously considered not playing, despite the boycott threat.

"We cannot refuse to play. We are playing for our country, not the money," he said.

Brazil, a 2-0 winner Monday over Russia, broke open the game after defender Rigobort Song drew a red card ejection in the 64th minute for violently stopping a breakaway by Bebeto.

With Cameroon at a man disadvantage, Marcio Santos put in a header for a 2-0 lead.

"When Cameroon was playing a man down, it was important to score the second goal, because many times when you're playing a man down you play harder than when you're at full strength," Brazilian midfielder Zinho said.

Cameroon defender Stephen Tataw complained the red card on Song was too severe.

"Brazil's a good team and I say congratulations, but the referee hurt our team," Tataw said. "He broke down the morale of Cameroon. The Brazilian team is not a piece of cake, but I would like to lose the match in a better way."

Bebeto said the call was justified.

"It was a harsh tackle. The referee made the right decision," he said.

Mexico 2, Ireland 1

In Orlando, Fla., Luis Garcia scored two goals and the searing temperatures also helped Mexico beat Ireland.

Mexico's win left all four teams in Group E with three points after two games, setting up an exciting finale on Tuesday. Ireland plays Norway and Italy meets Mexico. Only two teams are assured of advancing to the next round, while a third could move on.

With temperatures over 100 degrees, the Irish seemed to wilt after Garcia scored in the 44th and 66th minutes. But they responded late behind substitutes John Aldridge and Jason McAteer, who combined on their goal in the 84th minute.

Against the flow of play, Ireland scored with six minutes to goal. McAteer centered the ball from right wing and from 12 yards, Aldridge scored with a powerful downward header.

The Irish tried to press for the tying goal and with one minute remaining, Campos made a diving save that clinched the match on a drive by Andy Townsend.

Sweden 3, Russia 1

At Pontiac, Mich., Martin Dahlin put on a heady show and carried Sweden to the brink of advancing.

Dahlin connected on two diving headers that helped bring his team from behind for a 3-1 victory over Russia, which played a man short for the last 40 minutes. Sweden has four points in Group B with a game left against Brazil, which already has clinched a spot in the second round. Russia is facing almost certain elimination.

"We played good the whole game and created a lot of chances," Dahlin said. "We are very satisfied with this game today."

Dahlin, who scored Sweden's late tying goal in a 2-2 draw with Cameroon, headed the Swedes in front 2-1 with a low glancing shot in the 60th minute. He powered in another header eight minutes from the end.