On Monday night, Brazilian fans brought Latin American flair to this corner of Qatar. Casemiro scored the game-winning goal in Brazil’s 1-0 triumph over Switzerland at Stadium 974 in Doha. Brazil beat Switzerland 1-0 in the World Cup fixture. The midfielder scored a fantastic goal in the 83rd minute. It is that they put Brazil through with a game to spare and set fire to a match that had been struggling to catch fire until then.
The excitement of the final minutes will make the eighty. Or so minutes of shoddy passing and aimless play irrelevant to the sea of Brazilian fans. There were just a few pockets of local fans in traditional white robes. And a smattering of red Swiss shirts to break up the frieze of canary. It is that the tens of thousands of yellow shirts had been created inside this eccentric stadium.
Brazil beat Switzerland 1-0 in the World Cup fixture
Aside from the fact that it was being played in the Arabian Peninsula, the match had all the makings of a home game for the Brazilians. It is complete with thunderous roars accompanying every fancy move and a rhythmic beat hammered throughout. A soccer fanatic could have thought. Otherwise, if they knew the fans were throwing a celebration. Their previous two World Cup matchups ended in 1950 and 2018 in stalemates of 2-2 and 1-1, respectively.
Brazil had a 3–4–2 record against Switzerland in their previous nine matches. Before Casemiro’s magical moment, it appeared that this Monday night match would end in another draw. Halftime substitute Rodrygo played a first-time ball to Casemiro that struck it with the outside of his foot. Thus it glided, in time-honoured Brazilian fashion, past Yann Sommer in goal, the Swiss watching in horror as it bulged the side of the inside of his goal.
Even though Rodrygo set up Casemiro’s goal, Brazil’s newest superstar Vinicius Jr. deserves much credit because he single-handedly created the opening by drawing three increasingly desperate defenders onto himself.
The Swiss were worn down by a cruel moment of Brazilian brilliance, and the game could have ended 2-0 or 3-0 had it not been for the Europeans’ relentless defence. However, they can take heart from their performance, and a win against Serbia in their final group match will send them and Brazil through.