Brazil needed a late goal from Casemiro to break down a stubborn Switzerland side and book a place in the second round
Casemiro scored a stunning half-volley with the outside of his right foot to send Brazil into the knockout stages. The absence of Neymar was a major talking point before the game.
This was not a stroll in the park for Brazil as a well-drilled Switzerland provided evidence of the importance of Neymar to this Brazil team.
Brazil coach, Tite compensated for the loss of his attacking talisman by advancing Lucas Paquetá into the front three from midfield with Fred joining his Manchester United colleague Casemiro in Brazil’s engine room.
Xherdan Shaqiri has so often been Switzerland’s creative inspiration but his manager, Murat Yakin, could only find the former Liverpool winger, a place on the bench following an indifferent display in the opening Group G win over Cameroon.
Brazil vs Switzerland first half
Brazil started the game in a patient manner and although there were some slick plays between the players, they lacked incision against a deep-sitting Switzerland.
Yakin’s well structured, efficiently organised, team had been set up to play on the counterattack and their attacking pace sporadically posed Tite’s rearguard a few problems. Indeed Casemiro was a little lucky not to be booked after catching the accelerating Breel Embolo, late from behind.
Brazil finally break the deadlock
As the game went on without a goal, Brazil manager rang the changes, replacing Fred with Bruno Guimarães whose passing and movement immediately raised the tone of the game.
Switzerland's resolve finally broke as Casemiro applied the outside of his right boot to the ball and sent a glorious half-volley swerving into the net.