Brazil worked extremely hard to earn a 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday evening at Stadium 974.
Five minutes from the end, Casemiro, a midfielder for Manchester United, burst through with a half-volley that flew past Yann Sommer and gave Brazil a victory that guaranteed their place in the round of 16.
With lots of possession and a forward push to try and pin Brazil back, Switzerland got off to a strong start.
Before the hour mark, neither team really had their first shot at goal. Vinicius Junior received a cross from Raphinha at the back post, but he was unable to connect properly and sent the ball goalward with his knee, giving Yann Sommer time to intervene and make the save.
And in the first half, that was about as good as it got.
Ten minutes went by before the next real chance to score during the second half due to a slow start. Richarlison was the recipient of an excellent cross from Vinicius, but once again the shot missed by mere millimeters.
In the 65th minute, Vinicius scored the game’s first truly outstanding play, but the automated offside system disallowed it because Richarlison had strayed earlier in the move.
Twenty minutes later, Casemiro’s goal could not be ruled out. Brazil advanced to the next round thanks to the midfielder’s excellent half-volley after waltzing into the box.
Rodrygo nearly scored twice, but Manuel Akanji’s outstanding block prevented it, forcing Brazil to settle for just one.
Brazil vs Switzerland player ratings
GK: Alisson – 5/1
RB: Eder Militao – 7/10
CB: Thiago Silva – 7/10
CB: Marquinhos – 7/10
LB: Alex Sandro – 6/10
DM: Casemiro – 8/10
CM: Fred – 5/10
CM: Lucas Paqueta – 5/10
RW: Raphinha – 6/10
ST: Richarlison – 5/10
LW: Vinicius Junior – 6/10
SUB: Rodrygo (46′ for Paqueta) – 6/10
SUB: Bruno Guimaraes (59′ for Fred) – 7/10
SUB: Antony (73′ for Raphinha) – 6/10
SUB: Gabriel Jesus (73′ for Richarlison) – 6/10
SUB: Alex Telles (86′ for Sandro) – N/A
Manager: Tite – 5/10
GK: Yann Sommer – 6/10
RB: Silvan Widmer – 6/10
CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10
CB: Nico Elvedi – 7/10
LB: Ricardo Rodriguez – 6/10
DM: Remo Freuler – 6/10
DM: Granit Xhaka – 6/10
RM: Fabian Rieder – 6/10
AM: Djibril Sow – 5/10
LM: Ruben Vargas – 5/10
ST: Breel Embolo – 5/10
SUB: Edimilson Fernandes (59′ for Vargas) – 5/10
SUB: Renato Steffen (59′ for Rieder) – 5/10
SUB: Michel Aebischer (75′ for Sow) – 5/10
SUB: Haris Seferovic (75′ for Embolo) – 5/10
SUB: Fabian Frei (86′ for Widmer) – N/A
Manager: Murat Yakin – 6/10
Player of the match – Casemiro