Saturday, 28 January, 2023

Brazil admit toiling without injured Neymar

Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes admitted the World Cup favourites lacked some of their usual verve after they needed a late Casemiro strike to beat Switzerland and secure a place in the last 16.

The five-time World Cup winners knew a second straight win in Group G on Monday would clinch their place in the knockout phase with a game to spare.

But it looked like they would have to settle for a draw until Manchester United's Casemiro, not known for his goalscoring, popped up with a deflected strike seven minutes from time to seal a 1-0 win.

"It was a really difficult game and a 0-0 suited them, but the most important thing is that we are through," said Newcastle's Guimaraes, who came on as a second-half substitute at Doha's Stadium 974.

"Neymar is such a player, a real star. What team wouldn't miss him?" he asked.