Brazil qualified for the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday in Qatar.
Casemiro was the only scorer in this match in the 83rd minute. The South American squad thus benefited from one of the rare openings in the Swiss tight game.
Rodrygo, the author of the assist, explained, according to Agence France-Presse: “It was a complicated game, against a closed team which put us in trouble, but we continued to play this match. When space was created, I was able to give this pass to Casemiro. He made a big kick and gave us the victory.” .
The two players also played with Real Madrid until last August.
“This is very important, Rodrigo agreed. Casemiro shares his experience with us. Before the ball reached us, I shouted to him: “Let it pass!”. Immediately after that, he popped up and I managed to give him the ball back. [avec le Real] Today, I made a choice.
Thus, Brazil, who have not yet faced Cameroon, have achieved two victories in as many matches since the start of the World Cup. It became the second country to qualify for the qualifiers, after France.
On the Swiss side, we think the strategy paid off for a large part of the match, but we were well aware in the European clan of the difficulty the match presented.
“Brazil is a team that applies a lot of pressure and has a lot of talent. It’s normal that there are phases of the game where you are more defensive than you play against another team. We defended well, there weren’t many chances for Brazil…but they scored Great goal, there was nothing I could do [sur le but]. It was impossible. We are always disappointed when we lose, but now we have the final on Friday.
Despite everything, coach Murat Yakin believes his teammates could have done more.
“For a long time, the strategy of this game worked. We had a good command of the game, we ran well and covered good distances. But this result is sad for us, because the players lacked audacity in attack.
Switzerland will still be able to advance by beating Serbia.
Portugal beat Uruguay
Bruno Fernandes’ brace propelled Portugal into the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup on Monday in Qatar. Cristiano Ronaldo’s team beat Uruguay 2-0.
The first goal, which came in the 54th minute of play, required the effort of Ronaldo, who came within inches of redirecting the ball with a header. Goalkeeper Sergio Rochette, who had to respect this possibility of redirection, was thwarted.
Then a Uruguayan handball in the box allowed Fernandez to add his second goal with a penalty kick during stoppage time in the second half.
“Our entire team gave a great performance against a tough opponent,” Portuguese coach Fernando Santos was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse. We were able to find spaces and control the game, to create movement. Uruguay prevented us from doing what they know how to do, which is to play on the counter-attack.
It is certainly a sweet revenge for Portugal, who had just been knocked out in the round of 16 in the last World Cup, in 2018. But already, the team turned towards the final match of the preliminary round against South Korea, with the firm intention of claiming first place in Group H.
“Four years ago, circumstances were different,” Santos said of the latest confrontation between the two countries. It was then the Round of 16. This time, Uruguay could have won, but we won, it’s a pleasure to go through the Round. That’s what we wanted. I said my team is very united, we have a very good team spirit, and we give answers. We are not yet sure that we are ahead, we want to be the first.
Do not disturb
Ronaldo announced during the World Cup that he was leaving Manchester United, where he also played alongside Fernandez. If rumors of rifts between the two men have swirled recently, the two men have made things clear, particularly with the first goal hug.
Asked to comment on Ronaldo’s decision, Fernandez refused to take a stand.
“I don’t feel uncomfortable, I don’t have to pick a team,” Fernandez said. It was an honor to play in the national team with Cristiano and in the club. Cristiano has always been an inspiration to me, it was a dream to play with him, but nothing lasts forever.”