FIFA World Cup 2022: Neymar’s message to teammates, Casemiro screamer, Brazil defeat Switzerland

Brazil just refuse to give in.

The World Cup favourites left it late against Switzerland before an unlikely hero in the 83rd minute emerged.

Defensive midfielder Casemiro scored one of the goals of the tournament to secure the three points for Brazil and a spot in the next round.

You only have to look at the reaction of the players as he hit it.

Brazil winger Vinicius Junior just watched and admires in the background.

And Swiss keeper Yann Sommer can only watch as it smashes into the net.

Even without injured star Neymar – who did an Instagram post watching the game with the caption Boraaa (Let’s go) – Brazil kept pushing.

But there were some worried Brazil fans as the heavyweights pushed and pushed without a goal.

It looked like the deadlock had finally been broken when Vinicius Junior scored in the 63rd minute but VAR ruled it out for an offside in the build up.

Going into the World Cup as favourites, this was meant to be Neymar’s chance to join the greats and lead Brazil to glory.

But after he suffered an ankle injury in the opening 2-0 win against Serbia, it’s unknown when and if he’ll return.

Since the 2018 World Cup, Brazil have won 81 per cent of games with Neymar and just 63 per cent without.

But against the Swiss, Brazil just refused to settle for a point.

It was tough going for Brazil in the first half, with its first shot on target not until the 27th minute.

That’s the longest it’s taken Brazil to register a shot on target in the World Cup since 1994.

In fact the highlight of the first half was probably the stadium lights being accidentally dimmed just before half time.

Coach Tite brought on the attacking players Rodrygo, Antony and Gabriel Jesus in the second half in search of a winner.

In the stands at Stadium 974, Brazil legends Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu and Kaka watched on with boredom before Casemiro finally cracked a smile on their faces.

Just how far this Brazil side can go without Neymar remains to be seen.

It’s bursting with attacking options, but may struggle against the bigger nations without a world class playmaker like Neymar.

Not that Switzerland are easy beats.

They held Brazil to a draw in the 2018 World Cup and knocked France out of last year’s Euros.

One thing Brazil does have this World Cup is a solid defence.

Captain Thiago Silva and Marquinhos provide a wealth of experience in defence, Allison is solid in goals and Casemiro provides cover in midfield.

It’s working so far, with Brazil not conceding a single shot on target in Italy first two games.

The last team to do that was France in 1998 on their way to winning the World Cup.

All the talk before Qatar was Neymar leading Brazil to glory, but it might be that defensive unit that wins them the World Cup.

How very unBrazilian.

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