Brazil vs Switzerland, World Cup 2022 result: Late Casemiro goal books last-16 place

Casemiro is the man who makes this Brazil side tick and who scored the winner against Switzerland - Marko Djurica/Reuters
Casemiro is the man who makes this Brazil side tick and who scored the winner against Switzerland - Marko Djurica/Reuters

Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

08:57 PM

Report

Casemiro the hero as Brazil made to work hard

The shipping containers that comprise this makeshift arena shook with the frenzy of 40,000 bouncing Brazilians. Their elation was deferred, until the 83rd minute no less, but the decisive goal was worth all the over-elaborate preamble, as Casemiro conjured an exquisite half-volley with the outside of his right boot. Even Yann Sommer, the stricken Swiss goalkeeper, looked lost in admiration as the ball whistled past him.

Brazil’s serene progress beyond Group G was assured. The hordes in canary yellow were in euphoric communion with their players, who had defied Neymar’s absence to advance with a game to spare. Still, you could hardly shake the sense of a slow burn about this display, as if the five-time champions were teasing their way into the tournament. Only in the frantic final act did they discover a glimmer of their radiant best, with Casemiro, recently described by Gilberto Silva as the team’s “invisible man”, swaggering out of the shadows.

For an individual who spent nine years at Real Madrid, Casemiro is a curiously self-effacing soul, not in the least ostentatious but perhaps the most instrumental figure in how Brazil play.

Within the camp, the Manchester United midfielder is characterised as the player who sweeps the field so that everybody else can perform. Here, we caught a precious glimpse of what this meant. Content to be the silent choreographer for much of this match, he sprang into centre stage at the critical moment to deliver the coup de grâce.

Casemiro - ‘Invisible man’ Casemiro helping Brazil shift ominously through the gears - Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Casemiro - ‘Invisible man’ Casemiro helping Brazil shift ominously through the gears - Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Brazil’s entire bench emptied, leaping on Casemiro as he celebrated in the corner. Tite, the coach, planted a kiss of pure relief on the cheek of Rodrygo, one of his star substitutes. Even Neymar, convalescing from a swollen ankle back at the squad’s base, could not resist paying tribute to the hero of the hour. “Casemiro has been the best midfielder in the world for a long time,” he wrote. Quite the accolade, all told, from a Barcelona alumnus who had to face him in many a clásico.

Tite looked thrilled to be informed at this illustration of unity among the troops. “I usually don’t allow myself to comment on opinions, but I will today,” he said, with a wry grin. “I agree.” He is an endearing personality, this weather-beaten 61-year-old. And if he sounded at ease, it is because the project he has nurtured for six years appears finally to be coming to fruition.

He is already the longest-serving coach in the Selecao’s history. He is also the only person to be entrusted with a second World Cup after failing at the first attempt. Typically, the incumbent in this role has less job security than a Fifa image consultant, with Mario Zagallo holding it an extraordinary five separate times. But Tite, who has enlisted his son Matheus to be his assistant, has cultivated a palpable rapport with his players.

“There has been a four-year cycle of developing this,” he reflected. “It is about using athletes, allowing them to develop in a natural way. We should ask not who won today, but what. This process, this development. The entire team has brought us this.”

Brazil’s squad is one of absurd depth. They have negotiated this group with a minimum of fuss and still left seven of their 26 players unused. This game was perhaps the perfect example of the qualities they must channel if they are to break their 20-year drought on this stage. They were seldom close to their best, especially during an almost indolent first half, but they have discovered the art of winning ugly.

Tite – ‘Invisible man’ Casemiro helping Brazil shift ominously through the gears - Jonathan Brady /PA
Tite – ‘Invisible man’ Casemiro helping Brazil shift ominously through the gears - Jonathan Brady /PA

Casemiro, a little diffident at being heralded the man of the match, said: “The goal I scored doesn’t change my mindset. When we are talking about the Brazilian national team, we are talking about all the players. That’s how we win the title.”

For all the energy that is building around their surge, it is wise to add a note of caution. Since their last triumph in 2002, this has been a team of starkly different dimensions. While close to invincible in the group phase, with a 17-game unbeaten streak, they can be bizarrely flaky at the sharp end, claiming only a solitary semi-final that they lost 7-1 to Germany on home soil.

Atonement, their ardent supporters believe, is nigh. Casemiro argued that they had far more options at their disposal than in 2018, when they succumbed in the quarter-finals. A school of thought has even taken root that Brazil would never have lost to Belgium that day if he had been playing. They clearly owed this victory in part to a glaring lack of ambition among their Swiss opponents, who seemed far more interested in a draw than a win.

While Manuel Akanji defended for his life, the contribution of his team-mates up front was negligible. Even Swiss reporters were affronted by the absence of adventure, pressing coach Murat Yakin on why most passes were either sideways or backwards. “We lacked courage, to a certain extent,” he accepted. “This is quite a sad outcome for us, because we let the game slip through our fingers.”

And as the Swiss dithered, Casemiro was primed to inflict the punishment.

In the end, even the dismay of Vinicius Junior’s disallowed goal, ruled out by Var after he strayed a few inches offside, could not detain Brazil for long. Anchored by their “invisible man”, they are shifting ominously through the gears.

Match details

Brazil (4-3-3): Allison 5; Militao 7, Marquinhos 6, Thiago Silva 6, Alex Sandro (Telles 86) 6; Fred (Guimaraes 58) 5, Casemiro 8, Paqueta (Rodrygo 45) 6; Raphinha (Antony 73) 7, Richarlison (Jesus 73) 5, Vinicius Jnr 7.
Booked: Fred.
Goal: Casemiro (83).
Substitutes not used: Weverton, Alves, Fabinho, Ribeiro, Ederson, Bremer, Pedro, Martinelli.
Switzerland (4-2-3-1): Sommer 6; Widmer (Frei 86) 6, Akanji 7, Elvedi 7, Rodriguez 6; Freuler 6, Xhaka 6; Rieder (Steffen 59) 5, Sow (Aebischer 76) 5, Vargas (Fernandes 59) 5; Embolo (Seferovic 76) 5.
Booked: Rieder.
Substitutes not used: Zakaria, Omlin, Fassnacht, Comert, Kobel, Schar, Shaqiri, Kohn, Jashari.
Referee: Ivan Arcides Barton Cisneros (El Salvador).
Attendance: 43,649.

Brazil beat Switzerland: As it happened

06:11 PM

Analysis of Bra 1 Swi 0

Brazil are tough to beat and work very hard in the centre. Their attacking players obviously have tons of quality and they started to show it once they clicked. Switzerland defended pretty well but had limited to no ambition and were clearly hoping for a 0-0. Tite's subs changed the dynamic. Don't forget that Brazil had a goal chalked off for offside in the build up prior to Casemiro scoring what would be the game's only goal. Brazil could easily have had a second after that. All things considered, not a match to remember but Brazil have won two out of two and join France in the next round. The Swiss are fancied to join them by getting something vs Serbia.

Oliver Brown's match report will appear here shortly. I myself will be off shortly to live blog what could be a spicy encounter between Portugal and Uruguay.

06:05 PM

Full time player ratings

Rate the players at full time.

05:55 PM

Full time: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

It took 83 minutes for the goal but the better side won. Not a game that will linger long in the memory, although it was a cracking strike for the goal from Casemiro.

Brazil qualify. They and France are the sides through so far.

Brazil play Cameroon next and the Swiss play Serbia. All three of those have a chance of joining Tite's side in the next round.

05:53 PM

90+ mins: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

The Swiss have not really been able to make this into a grandstand finish. The Brazil side are comfortable enough. And indeed, with the clock ticking down, it is Brazil who are on top.

This is going to be the lot...

05:50 PM

90 mins: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

With the Swiss over-committed, Brazil break. Vinicius Jr should have done better. They had two on one.

Six minutes will be added.

05:49 PM

90 mins: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

Casemiro, goal hero - Getty
Casemiro, goal hero - Getty

05:47 PM

89 mins: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

The Swiss cannot get the ball. Gab Jesus wins a free kick.

05:45 PM

87 mins: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

Brazil fans are enjoying it now. Good atmos. They're going through to the next round with a bit to spare. This would be the first time they've had two wins in the first two games since they won it in 2002.

Brazil celebrate - Tolga Bozoglu/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Brazil celebrate - Tolga Bozoglu/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

05:44 PM

85 mins: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0

Brazil look to press home their advantage and are attacking. Gabriel Jesus with some good work, plays to Rodrygo for the shot. Tipped over.

05:41 PM

GOAL! Brazil 1 Switzerland 0 (Casemiro 83)

Nicely done! The ball is out to the left, a nice triangle pass from Vinicius to Casemiro who swings his foot through it and cracks the ball into the far corner. A very faint deflection on the way but it would have gone in anyway.

Casemiro spanks the ball home - Getty
Casemiro spanks the ball home - Getty

05:38 PM

80 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Swiss have everyone back. Probably deserve a point all things considered. It has been a decent defensive display.

Attack v defence
Attack v defence

05:38 PM

79 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Brazil pushing. Antony prominent. Casmeiro is also joining the attack.

05:34 PM

75 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Haris Seferovic and Michel Aebischer replace Djibril Sow and Breel Embolo

05:34 PM

74 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Vinicius Junior creating a lot of threat. Crosses. Gabriel Jesus nearly in business there.

05:30 PM

69 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Richarlison comes off. Gabriel Jesus comes on.

05:30 PM

68 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Brazil have raised their level. Vinicius and Richarlison causing real problems with their direct running. Swiss are hanging on a bit here. V to R. Shoots. Blocked.

05:28 PM

Here's Vincius slotting in the goal that wasn't

Brazil's Vinicius Junior scores , but Richarlison was offside earlier in the move - REUTERS/Carl Recine
Brazil's Vinicius Junior scores , but Richarlison was offside earlier in the move - REUTERS/Carl Recine

05:24 PM

63 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Brazil have the ball in the net. I mentioned before that right back was a possible are of weakness for the Swiss. Brazil turn the ball over and break. Played out to Vinicius Junior, who is in acres of space. Elvedi the centre back comes across, misses the tackled, VJ comes forward and rolls it in the net. Oh. But hang on. They are going back for an offside early in the move. Good old Var.

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Richarlison had been in an offside position a few seconds before, he came back to help out/involve himself in the move that led to the goal. That's fair enough I guess.

05:20 PM

Rich

Richarlison of Brazil reacts after a tackle by Manuel Akanji - Getty
Richarlison of Brazil reacts after a tackle by Manuel Akanji - Getty

he was fine

05:19 PM

59 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Handy little spell for the Swiss. Fernandes is on as a sub and has had two good moments. Shot charged down.

Bruno Guimaraes has come on for the much maligned Fred. NUFC 4 MUFC.

Switzerland have brought on Edimilson Fernandes as I just said. Also Renato Steffen.

Ruben Vargas and Fabian Rieder the Swissers who make way.

05:14 PM

56 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Rodrygo to Vin Jr, this is excellent football and the cross is just a foot away from being perfect for Richarlison.

05:13 PM

55 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Fred loses it, and has to clip Sow to stop him getting away.

Alisson also not in the wide awake club a few seconds later when he dallies on the ball and nearly loses it to Embolo.

05:12 PM

53 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Game livening up a bit. Swiss have a corner and Alisson elects to punch, Played back in but Brazil tidy up okay.

05:11 PM

52 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Good moment for this Swiss as they get several forward. Xhaka gives Widmer one to chase into the channel. Good cross, Sow has a crack! It's Vincius Junior who makes the important block.

05:09 PM

50 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Ouch. Rodyrgo tries to get clear of Rieder and instead gets a whack in the nose. Booking for the Swiss guy. Not really a very fair reward for a nice bit of skill!

05:07 PM

47 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Vinicius got away from Widmer in the first half and should have scored. Now the Swiss right back is in the shtuck again as V Jr spins away from him and hares down that flank. Offside flag saves his bacon.

05:05 PM

46 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Lucas Paqueta comes off and Rodrygo is on.

05:03 PM

The Swiss

had only one shot in the first half. They had 46% of the ball so it's not like they were under the pump. They'll happily take 45 more minutes of the same. Well, 54 mins or whatever.

Here we go for the second half.

05:00 PM

Brief moment just before HT

When the stadium lights dimmed for a couple of seconds.

04:56 PM

It was all yellow

Brazil attack - AFP Getty
Brazil attack - AFP Getty

04:55 PM

This feels like an appropriate bit of HT reading

Why the discerning football fan is not watching first half of World Cup games

04:49 PM

Half time: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Very little to write home about. Swiss have dug in pretty well, Brazil had one or two moments of neat, quick interplay on the edge of the box but by and large they've lacked real quality in the key moments. Both sides won their first game and I'm pretty sure both sides would be happy enough with a point.

04:47 PM

45 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

With only one minute to be added, the Swiss are going to take a corner. Vargas. Okay ball in. But cleared without too much alarm and that brings a very underwhelming first half to a close.

04:45 PM

44 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Brazil have a brace of corners. Thiago Silva making his presence felt at the first one.

Second corner: drilled in hard. Sommer in the Swiss goal hasn't done well there. He punches but the ball rebounds back into the danger area. Eventually the Swiss clear.

04:42 PM

40 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Akanji slides in and catches Richarlison.

04:39 PM

38 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Good moment for Vargas! Receives the ball and spins away from Thiago Silva. Brazil have numbers back though and they stand firm.

04:39 PM

36 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Militao tries his luck from a long way out. Deflected for a corner.

Brazil have a corner and over-elaborate. Eventually Raphinha has no option but to try and dribble through everyone. Gets to the byline and crosses but the Swiss keeper eats that up.

04:37 PM

34 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Vinicius Junior caught offside when perhaps he could have been a bit shrewder.

04:34 PM

32 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Xhaka looks to spread the play with a long ball but Vargas is beaten to the ball by the Brazil defence. Tough assignment for him so far.

Brazil: Alisson, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro, Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro, Fred, Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior. Subs: Weverton, Dani Alves, Fabinho, Alex Telles, Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Rodrygo, Everton Ribeiro, Ederson, Bremer, Pedro, Martinelli.

Switzerland: Sommer, Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez, Freuler, Xhaka, Vargas, Sow, Rieder, Embolo. Subs: Fernandes, Zakaria, Seferovic, Steffen, Omlin, Aebischer, Fassnacht, Comert, Frei, Kobel, Schar, Shaqiri, Kohn, Jashari..

04:32 PM

How are the teams doing?

Tell us how you rate the players with our player ratings.

04:29 PM

28 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Xhaka with a hard tackle on Raphinha.

04:29 PM

25 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

This is more like it! Excellent run from Vinicius to get free at the back post - right back is in for a rollocking at half time because he has totally lost his man. Cross comes in from the right, Raphinha the man who delivers, and the Brazil forward Vinicius has fluffed his lines. Scuffs the shot.

Switzerland's Yann Sommer saves a shot from Brazil's Vinicius Junior - Reuters
Switzerland's Yann Sommer saves a shot from Brazil's Vinicius Junior - Reuters

04:24 PM

22 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Vargas gets forward well but when he looks for Embolo: Embolo comes there none. Embolo seems to be coming very short to get the ball, wants it to feet. That's fine in principle but maybe not for a team like the Swiss who are sitting deep and looking to hit on the break.

04:22 PM

19 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Paqueta finds a bit of space down the left, and crosses. Richarlison was there or thereabouts. Elvedi, I think, clears.

04:21 PM

18 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

There's not a great amount to tell you about in terms of incident yet.

04:15 PM

14 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Casemiro fouls Embolo. Swiss have a freekick 40 yards out. Central. Xhaka plays it short. Yuk. A pathetic freekick routine dribbles away to nothing. Just get it in the mixer!

Oliver Brown reports from the stadium: "There was alarm before kick-off here at Stadium 974 when Switzerland's team bus was involved in a minor collision with a police vehicle. With traffic slowing down close to the ground, the coach appeared to brake too late, crashing into the car escorting it in front. There were no injuries to any players or staff, but the incident was scarcely ideal preparation for the Swiss ahead of a daunting match likely to decide the winners of Group G."

04:14 PM

12 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

And again. This time it is Casemiro and Fred linking up, rapier passing, through to Richarlison. The Swiss have just about enough men back but the warning signs are flashing in that inside left channel.

04:13 PM

11 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Ooh that's a lovely neat bit of football. Lucas Paqueta with a quick, incisive pass to Richarlison. He surges into the box and tries to cut it back for Vinicius Junior, but it is cut out.

04:11 PM

10 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Vargas tries to dance his way through the lines but runs into trouble. A Brazil break is ended with a hard tackle on Richarlison.

04:10 PM

9 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Lee Dixon: "Brazil slow, probing. But there front three are prowling. They are on the shoulder of the last defenders."

04:08 PM

6 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

The splendid Alisson is out of his box early to snuff out a direct ball forward.

Number 8 Remo Freuler fights for the ball with Brazil's forward #20 Vinicius Junior as Switzerland's midfielder #25 Fabian Rieder watches on - AFP
Number 8 Remo Freuler fights for the ball with Brazil's forward #20 Vinicius Junior as Switzerland's midfielder #25 Fabian Rieder watches on - AFP

04:06 PM

5 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Switzerland have a corner but, sorry to say, totally waste it. The game has yet to get going.

04:03 PM

3 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

Dangerous ball in, low and hard and lucky for the Swiss, no Brazilian can get a touch.

04:03 PM

2 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

An early freekick for Brazil out on the left flank.

04:01 PM

1 mins: Brazil 0 Switzerland 0

The Swiss are in all red, the Brazil side of course in yellow shirts and blue shorts with white socks. And it is they who have the ball early on, playing the ball around at the back.

03:57 PM

Anthem time

Brazil to play first. Stirring.

The Swiss team look well up for it I have to say.

03:52 PM

I'm a big fan of this man

Richarlison - Nigel Keene/ProSports/Shutterstock
Richarlison - Nigel Keene/ProSports/Shutterstock

03:50 PM

Two cracking games so far

Here's hoping we can go for the hat-trick. I'm also blogging the Portugal vs Uruguay darks arts masterpiece later.

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03:38 PM

Everybody's favourite

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03:36 PM

My review of the TV coverage so far

Here's my own take on the first week (and a bit) of the tournament coverage.

With Souness and Keane, ITV exerts an early authority over BBC 

03:34 PM

Talking of the TV coverage

A good row has blown up between the hosts and one of English football's favourite sons.

Qatar attacks Gary Lineker and calls BBC's World Cup coverage ‘very racist’

03:19 PM

Your views

Who do you think will win the World Cup? How are you enjoying the tournament? Do you think they should have had the World Cup in Qatar? What do you think of the TV coverage so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

03:17 PM

Who will win this match?

Let us know with our match predictor.

03:16 PM

Kick off

will be in 45 minutes at the Stadium 974 - Ras Abu Aboud.

03:14 PM

Player ratings

We would like to hear from you about how you think the players do in this match.

03:02 PM

Brazil in the house

So then. The boys from Brazil. Are they the real deal? Several of the pre-tournament favourites have not convinced us so far. France have won both of their games but when you look at England (one good performance, one meh) or Germany (lost one, came from behind for a point) Spain (two solid results but look a bit short of a forward) or Argentina (lost in arguably the greatest World Cup shock of all time) you have to say that it is hard to pick an absolute favourite.

Brazil won their opening match fairly comfortably, putting Serbia away 2-0. But that result was not achieved without cost: Neymar was subbed on 80 minutes after a heavy tackle by Nikola Milenkovic and he is not to feature today against Switzerland.

The Swiss also won their opener: they beat Cameroon 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Breel Embolo, who was himself born in Cameroon. So both of the sides off to a decent start in Group G. With Cameroon and Serbia having subsequently played out a thrilling 3-3 draw this morning, a point would probably suit Brazil and Switzlerand fine. But Brazil, of course, will be looking to win and get their vibe rolling.

So let's see who is going to do battle for this prize this afternoon.

Fred and Eder Militao replace injured Neymar and Danilo. Both of those two got ankle injuries in the team's opening 2-0 win over Serbia.

Fred and his Manchester United team mate Casemiro make for a solid if not very Brazilian  midfield. That might push Paqueta forward into a playmaking role, instead of bringing Rodrygo in up-front alongside Vinicius, Richarlison and Raphinha.

Real Madrid's versatile central defender Militao replaces Danilo at right back.

Swiss coach Murat Yasin makes one change to the team that started the 1-0 win over Cameroon with Fabian Rieder replacing Xherdan Shaqiri.

Teams

Brazil: Alisson, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro, Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro, Fred, Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior. Subs: Weverton, Dani Alves, Fabinho, Alex Telles, Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Rodrygo, Everton Ribeiro, Ederson, Bremer, Pedro, Martinelli.

Switzerland: Sommer, Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodriguez, Freuler, Xhaka, Vargas, Sow, Rieder, Embolo. Subs: Fernandes, Zakaria, Seferovic, Steffen, Omlin, Aebischer, Fassnacht, Comert, Frei, Kobel, Schar, Shaqiri, Kohn, Jashari.