Brazil advance to round of 16 as Casemiro goal overtakes Switzerland

DOHA, Qatar — Casemiro’s 83rd-minute winner was enough to book Brazil’s place in the 2022 World Cup Round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Switzerland at Stadium 974 on Monday. But for much of the match, Brazil seemed to miss the creativity offered by their absent star man Neymar as they continually tried to break through Switzerland’s resolute defense to come away empty-handed.

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Vinicius Junior thought he had opened the scoring in the 63rd minute, only for VAR to intervene and rule out the effort due to Richarlison’s offside position earlier in the move. Eventually, Casemiro broke the deadlock late to ensure Brazil qualified for the round of 16, while Switzerland can still qualify for the last 16 as they face Serbia in their final stage game. of groups.

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Quick reaction

1. Brazil without Neymar lacked inspiration

There’s been a lot of talk at this World Cup about some group stage matches becoming games of chess: both teams wait for an opening, push hard, but ultimately it takes a bold move to bring it to life to a game. There are catalysts here in Qatar who can do it, but Brazil lacks its main creative force. Neymar has provided that spark for Brazil in the past, but with their star striker injured they lacked the ability for much of the game to open up the well-organised Swiss defence.

The Selecao looked uninspired in the first half – 45 minutes that felt like the first half of their opener against Serbia – but Rodrygo’s introduction at the break gave them a spark to bring the game to life. But they still found it extremely difficult to break down the four Swiss defenders – Granit Xhaka and Robin Freuler also doing a brilliant job of playing their part in a midfield brawl.

They tried to go further towards Vinicius and Raphinha – but found those lanes largely blocked – and rarely took advantage of the middle. Before Casemiro’s 83rd-minute winner, they had only gotten three decent chances. The first was a tame Vinicius fired at Yann Sommer in the first half as he was unable to convert without a mark from 10 yards out. Then came second-half Richarlison who failed to put his toe on the end of a Vinicius cross, when it was the Real Madrid man who was frustrated in the 63rd minute when he thought he had opened the score, only for the effort to be chalked up. due to Richarlison’s offside position earlier in the movement.

Casemiro eventually broke the deadlock, and play grew more frantic as Switzerland chased an equaliser, but without Neymar Brazil looked brutal in attack for much of the game and needed the veteran to find the goods.

2. Brazil are counting on Casemiro to seal their qualification

Casemiro said in the build-up to the match that he felt sorry for the opposition, such is the depth force Brazil have. At first glance you can see where he’s coming from, especially as Brazil could bring in Gabriel Jesus, Bruno Guimaraes, Antony and Rodrygo – that’s nearly £200m of talent there.

But it was the old boy himself who opened the scoring as it was his deflected shot in the 83rd minute that gave Brazil the lead. It was a wonderfully taken strike, but that was partly thanks to the patient attack with Vinicius eventually stretching the Switzerland defence, Rodrygo tossing a delicious through ball to Casemiro and the defensive midfielder finishing it off. At this stage, Brazil were effectively playing a 2-4-4 formation in attack, with their full-backs in midfield, and Thiago Silva and Marquinhos anchoring them at the back.

But apart from Rodrygo, the others off the bench didn’t really change the course of the game. Faced with that, Rodrygo has to start against Cameroon as he gave more impetus in attack than Lucas Paqueta in the first half while the rest of the bench failed to make any real impact. He needed reliable stalwarts to see them go home with Casemiro once again proving why he is indispensable.

3. Switzerland still has a chance to pass

Despite the result, Switzerland has a good chance of qualifying for the round of 16 of this World Cup. While Cameroon beat Serbia earlier in the day, Switzerland and Cameroon head into the final round tied with three points apiece. This Switzerland-Serbia match promises to be hot, but judging by Switzerland’s first two matches in this World Cup, they will go into it as favourites.

They were well organized against Brazil and frustrated Tite’s team for much of the game. They just needed a bit more ruthlessness in front of goal, but they shoved Alisson around – provoking the usually immaculate goalkeeper into two sloppy errors as he attempted to play from behind – and caused Brazil a strange headache. Xhaka and Co. stuck to their system and were unlucky not to come out with a point.

Player ratings (1=worst, 10=best)

Brazil: Alisson 6, Eder Militao 7, Thiago Silva 7, Marquinhos 6, Alex Sandro 7, Fred 6, Casemiro 8, Lucas Paqueta 5, Raphinha 6, Vinicius Junior 7, Richarlison 6

submarines: Rodrygo 7, Bruno Guimaraes 6, Antoine 6, Gabriel Jesus 6, Alex Telles 6

Swiss: Yann Sommer 7, Silvan Widmer 6, Manuel Akanji 7, Nico Elvedi 7, Ricardo Rodriguez 6, Remo Freuler 7, Granit Xhaka 7, Djibril Sow 6, Ruben Vargas 6, Fabian Rieder 6, Breel Embolo 6

Subtitles: Edimilson Fernandes 6, Renato Steffen 6, Haris Seferovic 6, Michel Aebischer 6, Fabian Frei 6

Best and Worst Performers

BEST: Casemiro

Casemiro was at the heart of this Brazilian performance and took her chance when she showed up.

Worst: Lucas Paqueta

He was supposed to be the spark to bring Brazil’s attack without Neymar to life. But instead, the West Ham playmaker made his way at half-time after a frustrating first half.

Highlights and Moments

After lacking inspiration in the final third for most of the match, Brazil’s breakthrough came from Casemiro.

After the game: What players and managers said

Quotes to come…

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

– Casemiro is the 85th different player to score for Brazil in the World Cup.

– Casemiro: At 82:15, this is the 5th last regular match won by a Brazilian at the FIFA World Cup

– Brazil: secures its place in the round of 16 with a victory; wins first 2 World Cup games for the first time since 2010 (had 8 consecutive World Cups winning first 2 games from 1982-2010)


Brazil: They will face Cameroon on Friday at 10 p.m. local time/2 p.m. ET. Brazil have qualified for the round of 16 and can rest key players.

Swiss: The Swiss will face Serbia on Friday, also at 10:00 p.m. local/2:00 p.m. ET. Everything is to be played to approach the last day of this group.

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