By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Brazil solidified its bid for another World Cup championship title after edging Switzerland, 1-0, on November 29, 2022 to formalize its spot in the Round of 16.
The five-time football kings stepped on the gas pedal in the second half despite not having superstar Neymar who is still nursing an injury he suffered during their last outing.
Answering the call for the Brazilian squad is Manchester United midfielder Carlos Casemiro who showed flashes of brilliance after delivering the lone goal of the match.
With eight minutes left and both teams gunning for a goal, the Premier League player executed a jaw-dropping off-the-bounce volley goal that quickly kissed the top-right corner of Switzerland’s goal post.
It was a beautifully executed play for Brazil after generating the sequence from the left corner of the pitch which resulted in a quick 1-2 play that freed up Casemiro inside the penalty box.
Three minutes after Casemiro’s conversion, Brazil had another chance to double their lead but a brave save from Switzerland’s goalkeeper spoiled another mob party.
Brazil had one more chance of a clean shot during the extension period but Switzerland’s last line of defense showed up at the most perfect time.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the first half as Switzerland was able to match Brazil’s intensity and even provided some scare after a slick cross-pass play which led to a clear attempt from the right side of the pitch.
However, Brazil decided to go all out in the second half and always pushed the pace every time they got back to their offensive possession.
Aside from their offense, Brazil’s defense led by veteran Thiago Silva also became a factor in the second half that lessened Switzerland’s attempts, unlike the first 45 minutes.
The Brazilians will have four more days of rest before taking on Cameroon on December 3, Saturday, in Group G of the World Cup.