Casemiro Leads Neymar-less Brazil to 1-0 Win Over Switzerland

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Casemiro, take a bow.

The Brazilian midfielder showed up in a big way for the Seleçao in their match against Switzerland on Monday. Known more as a defensive-minded player, the 30-year-old netted Brazil’s lone goal of the day and was instrumental in securing his country a spot in the knockout round.

After 83 scoreless minutes, Casemiro hit a perfect strike past Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer to the top right corner of the net.

This was Casemiro’s sixth international goal and his first at a World Cup.

His game-winner even earned the respect of Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo Nazário, who was watching from the stands.

Earlier in the half, Casemiro nearly got on the stat sheet with an assist to Vinicius Junior in the 64th minute. That goal was called back for offsides in the buildup to the play after a video review, leaving the game at 0-0.

He continued to lead a Brazilian offense that was playing without forward Neymar, who is sidelined with an ankle injury sustained in the opener in Qatar. Team doctors have not yet given a timetable on his return.

With Casemiro’s goal and the win, Brazil sits atop the Group G standings. A win or draw would over Cameroon would guarantee its place as the top seed out of the group. Brazil could even maintain the top spot with a loss and a Switzerland win, depending on how many goals the Swiss are able to get past Serbia.

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