Brazil take late 1-0 lead against Switzerland at Qatar World Cup
Brazil's attacking depth has been celebrated in the build-up to the World Cup, but with its leading man sidelined, it was an unlikely source that delivered the breakthrough vs. Switzerland.
Casemiro's 83rd-minute goal has Brazil leading and on course for a place in the knockout stage, having already beaten Serbia in Qatar.
As Neymar recovers from an ankle injury suffered in that opener, Brazil returned to action against the Swiss with both sides knowing that if there were a victor, that team would punch its ticket to the knockout stage of the competition. It had been a stalemate for much of the match, with Vinícius Junior having a second-half goal disallowed by VAR, until Casemiro struck.
Neymar was heavily involved in Brazil's tournament-opening win, but it was Richarlison who stole the headlines, with his two-goal performance punctuated by an acrobatic finish that will be hard-pressed to top for goal of the tournament. The Tottenham forward, along with the likes of Real Madrid stars Vinícius and Rodrygo and Barcelona winger Raphinha, are being counted on to pick up the slack in Neymar’s absence—and evidently, Casemiro as well.
The Swiss, meanwhile, weren’t awed by Brazil regardless of who was fit—not after drawing the Seleção at the 2018 World Cup and not after toppling the likes of France at Euro 2020—and entered on the heels of a 1–0 win over Cameroon.
Richarlison started the match by continuing to create chances, but the forward missed a connection with Raphinha’s cross. The Tottenham forward barely missed on another chance in the 19th minute but Lucas Paquetá’s cross was just out of reach.
Brazil’s first shot on target came in the 27th minute courtesy of Vinícius, whose sliding shot off a Raphinha cross went straight at Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer. It was the latest opening shot on target for Brazil since the 1994 World Cup.