Brazil vs. Switzerland: Late Casemiro goal takes South Americans into World Cup last 16 after 1-0 win

Brazil advanced to the World Cup 2022 quarterfinals after a late Casemiro strike broke the resistance of a tenacious Switzerland team late in the second round of Group G games.

Brazil struggled to find a way through a typically disciplined Swiss defense without Neymar, with Vinicius Junior having the best chance of the first period when he drifted into space at the far post only to fail to connect properly with Raphinha’s cross, allowing Yann Sommer to save.

Switzerland more than held their own and had glimmers of opportunities, but neither side was able to easily unlock the opposing backline.

Brazil brought on Rodrygo at the break and he was soon linking up with his Real Madrid teammate Vinicius, who sent in a sumptuous cross with the outside of his right foot that Richarlison only narrowly failed to turn in.

Brazil were turning up the heat and just past the hour thought they had broken through when Rodrygo played in Vinicius down the left to skip Nico Elvedi’s challenge and roll the ball past Sommer. A lengthy VAR check found Richarlison to be offside earlier in the same phase of play, however, and the effort was chalked off.

However, the South Americans would not be denied, with Vinicius and Rodrygo combining again seven minutes later to create space in the area for Casemiro, and a fine half-volley flicking Manuel Akanji past Sommer and inside the far post.

Sommer pushed over Rodrygo’s effort, and Akanji blocked another goalbound Rodrygo strike in extra time, but Brazil had already done enough to join holders France in the last 16 after Serbia and Cameroon drew 3-3 in the opening game of Group G.

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