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without Neymar, Brazil relies on shadow worker Casemiro

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Doha Stadium 974 serves different purposes. Removable, this strange assembly of containers – there are 974 of them, the telephone indicator of Qatar – serves as an environmental guarantee for the World Cup in the Gulf country. But Monday, November 28, the enclosure could have served as a model for the Brazilian team: in any building, each piece must find its place. In the absence of its star Neymar, injured in the ankle in the first match, Brazil struggled, but got the better of Switzerland (1-0). In the absence of a successful performance, the Seleçao players, who dream of a sixth world title – to the point for some of having drawn the star on their training shorts – have validated their ticket for the next round. of the competition.

Relive the encounter: Brazil-Switzerland: the Seleçao wins and qualifies for the round of 16

Forced to experience life without Neymar, who stayed at the hotel to favor his rehabilitation, it was a more messy Brazil than during the successful score of their opening match which took over the lawn. Less fluid, on alternating current. And like the Seleçao, deprived of the one by whom often comes the spark, the 974 stadium was, at the end of the first period, the victim of a drop in light intensity. But the partners of captain Thiago Silva have fulfilled their mission: to win, to qualify for the round of 16.

Tite is perhaps the only one among the coaches of the thirty-two teams competing in the World Cup to have such attacking equipment. To compensate for the absence of his number 10, there was no shortage of options. However, the absence of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) player was immediately felt. Author of a double in the previous match, Richarlison did not hide that Neymar had missed him. “I am number 9, I need him to open up spaces and be able to find myself alone in front. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t get to the front much today.”, exposed the Tottenham striker after the meeting. But according to him, focusing on the absence of Neymar does not take into account the opponent of the evening: “Switzerland has one of the best defenses in Europe, it’s a very good team. »

For more than 80 minutes of play, the Brazilians fought hard to force the Swiss safe. Very structured, and applying to the letter the plan of its coach, Murat Yakin, consisting in tightening the screw in defense and projecting itself as soon as possible, the Nati sporadically posed problems for the Brazilian rearguard. Opposite, Tite’s players struggled to translate their possession into real opportunities. “Switzerland play low and they seem to tell you ‘make mistakes and I’ll take advantage of them'”summarized the Brazilian coach, forced to change his flight plan, after having “read the game” opponents of the day.

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