Neymar predicted that Fred's mustache would lead to his first goal and it did

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle
Brazil's Fred fights for the ball with Cameroon's Nicolas N'Koulou during the group A World Cup soccer match between Cameroon and Brazil at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

For complete World Cup 2014 coverage visit Yahoo Sports and follow @YahooSoccer

Brazil striker Fred was unable to score in the team's first two matches of this World Cup, sparking increased scrutiny and criticism for the player widely considered to be the weak link in the starting XI. He needed a goal in Brazil's final group-stage match against Cameroon to quiet his critics and in the 49th minute, he got it — scoring Brazil's third in a 4-1 win. And both he and Neymar knew the reason why he was able to do it: his large mustache.

From the AP:

"As incredible as it seems, the ball came in hard and it ended up hitting my mustache," Fred said. "It was a mustache goal."

Teammate Neymar said he was the one who told Fred not to shave his upper lip, predicting it might turn things in his favor.

"I said, `Come on, Fred, if you leave the mustache you are going to score, the mustache never fails,'" Neymar later explained. "After he scored I went to him and I said, `See, I told you that it never fails.'"

Fred also got off to a slow start at last summer's Confederations Cup, but ended the tournament as the joint top scorer (with Fernando Torres). Of course, he didn't have a mustache then, so the sky is the limit now.

On a related note, look for Neymar's line of "The mustache never fails" T-shirts to hit stores within the week.