Brazil defeated Switzerland 1-0 on Monday at Stadium 974 to advance to the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup. The Swiss team played well defensively, frustrating the five-time world champions, but they finally broke through in the 83rd minute when Casemiro scored the game-winning goal from inside the box.
Tite’s team continues to lead Group G, and they are the second country to advance to the knockout stages after World Cup hosts France, who did so after defeating Denmark on Saturday.
After 11 goals were scored in the opening two World Cup games played on Monday, including six in the thrilling 3-3 tie between Cameroon and Serbia, Stadium 974’s spectators were left feeling a little deflated by Brazil and Switzerland’s reserved first-half performances.
Vinicius Junior had the best opportunity of the opening 45 when he perfectly timed
his run at the back post to reach a lovely curling cross from Raphinha on the right in the 26th minute.
After rushing toward a loose ball in the middle of the field just five minutes later, Raphinha fired a daring 35-yard strike, but Sommer easily saved it.
Throughout the bulk of the first half, Switzerland stayed in their defensive positions. Their lone genuine opportunity came six minutes before the interval when Ruben Vargas nearly turned Thiago Silva inside the box before Alisson Becker closed him down to scoop up the ball on the six-yard line.
Brazil 1-0 Switzerland: Tite’s team into round of 16 at Qatar
Two minutes before the break, the stadium lights briefly went out before Raphinha whipped in an appealing corner into the danger area, which Sommer blocked with his right fist.
At halftime, in response to his team’s laborious first-half performance, Tite substituted Rodrygo for Lucas Paqueta. Rodrygo played in an advanced position behind Richarlison, the team’s central striker.
In the first 45 minutes, Brazil’s defence was seldom put to the test, but early in the second half, desperate defending was necessary. Vinicius Junior, of all players, tracked back to make a crucial block inside the penalty box to stop Djibril Sow from reaching the target.
Just before the hour mark, Brazil came near at the opposite end as Richarlison’s outstretched right leg narrowly missed a lovely cross from Vinicius Junior with the outside of his right boot. This happened just seconds before Alisson was almost caught in possession by Breel Embolo.
In the absence of injured Selecao star Neymar, Vinicius Junior was the one who stepped up the most for Brazil. The 22-year-old felt he had opened the scoring in the 64th minute when he calmly finished past Sommer and into the bottom-right corner.
However, the goal was overturned by VAR because Richarlison was found offside throughout the buildup, putting an end to the Selecao’s jubilation.
With barely seven minutes left, Casemiro of Manchester United, who had been set up by Rodrygo just inside the area on the left channel, scored a wonderful goal that deflected into the top-right corner to defeat Switzerland, who deserve credit for their defensive performance.
In the group stage of the World Cup, Brazil is the first country to have gone 17 games without losing. This streak started in 2002, when they last held the most coveted football trophy in the world.
Tite and company will now focus on their last Group G match against Cameroon on Friday, while Murat Yakin’s Switzerland team will play Serbia in an effort to secure their spot in the round of 16.
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