Brazil had Oscar to thank for their first win in their first group match, Guillermo Ochoa to curse for their first draw in their second group match, and Neymar and the absolutely inept Cameroon defense to thank for their final win in their final group match, one that ensured that they finished atop Group A and will now face Chile in the round of 16. Though despite Chile's disappointing performance today, it's not necessarily a given that they'll be any easier of a task than the Netherlands.
And that task certainly won't get any easier if Brazil don't make some changes. While they did dismiss Cameroon despite hardly breaking a sweat, the lack of defensive organization and midfield presence may yet come back to haunt the hosts. Though the latter was rectified to a large degree with Fernandinho's long overdue introduction for Paulinho at the half.
Fernandinho in for Paulinho, which is about 225 minutes late— Graham MacAree (@MacAree) June 23, 2014
As far as Chelsea are concerned, Oscar started once again and went the distance (switching freely with Neymar between left wing and central attacking role), Ramires continued to be the change-of-pace option for Hulk at right wing coming on at the hour mark, and even Willian got a 20-minute run-out. None of three impressed too greatly, though Oscar did pick up an assist on Brazil's final goal of the night and did a lot of the more invisible (i.e. less obvious) Oscar things like recovering loose balls and putting in five (5!) tackles.
Oscar was also involved in the most delicious Brazilian move of the night, one that was regrettably wasted by Hulk. The Vine below doesn't even do it complete justice, as it's missing the bit of skill and juggling from Neymar that initially got the ball out to Oscar on the left wing.
There is much promise to this Brazilian side and if Scolari makes the few required and obvious changes, they may yet live up to their pre-tournament billing and hype. Giving Willian a start instead of Fred or Hulk could be sensible, while going with Fernandinho instead of Paulinho seems almost too obvious. Either way, Brazil will need Oscar to continue to provide and do the dirty work, even if that leaves all the glory to Neymar.