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Neymar Deemed 'Irreplaceable' for Brazil Despite World Cup Win vs. Switzerland

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2022

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 28: Casemiro of Brazil celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Switzerland at Stadium 974 on November 28, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Casemiro helped send Brazil to the knockout stage with the team's 1-0 win over Switzerland, but Monday's men's World Cup match was far from easy.

The Seleção were without top scorer Neymar, who was ruled out with an ankle injury he suffered against Serbia. The result was a low-scoring battle with few quality chances.

Fans and journalists noted the team's struggles without Neymar on the pitch:

Rupert Fryer @Rupert_Fryer

Hard to overstate just how dominating a presence Neymar is on his colleagues. Always interesting to see who steps up for Brazil and how differently they play going forward without him.

Simon Kuper @KuperSimon

Neymar may not be essential to Brazil but it does look as if he is irreplaceable - nobody else can do the playmaking. (And yes I know that tweeting this will prompt an instant playmaker’s pass for a goal from someone else) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/braswi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#braswi</a> 0-0 after 35 mins

Grace Robertson 🏳️‍⚧️ @GraceOnFootball

I don't know what to make of the claims that Brazil can be more effective without Neymar, but I do know they're significantly less fun to watch.

James Wokabi @JWokabi

Swiss organization and missing Neymar making things a little awkward for the Selecao

Caroline Salame @caroline_szwed

Brazil is missing Neymar’s creativity out there big time

Abhimanyu Bose @bose_abhimanyu

Brazil missing Neymar

Chuck Culpepper @ChuckCulpepper1

Halftime and Brazil 0-0 Switzerland, and some people think Brazil is better off without Neymar, and also some people think they see Marilyn Monroe in a full moon <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCupQatar2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCupQatar2022</a>

BIGTRIL @bigtrilkaiza

Brazil struggling creatively without Neymar…

Nasir @GeneralNasir

Brazil without Neymar = 0-0 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bra</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sui?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sui</a>

The match seemed headed toward a scoreless draw as Brazil simply could not break down the Swiss defense.

Casemiro finally changed the match in the 83rd minute with a goal off a quality pass from Rodrygo:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

WHAT A STRIKE! BRAZIL ON THE BOARD 1-0 🔥<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/FOXSoccer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FOXSoccer</a>)<a href="https://t.co/AXVl9yuo7s">pic.twitter.com/AXVl9yuo7s</a>

The score certainly caught the attention of social media:

Josh Bunting @Buntingfootball

What a finish that is from Casemiro, Brazil have found a way through eventually. Incredible technique strike that ball and across goal. It’s a beautiful goal, Switzerland have worked so hard but there’s nothing you can do about that quality. Superb goal <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BRASUI?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BRASUI</a>

Andy Mitten @AndyMitten

Casemiro IS the best thing since sliced bread.

zanger (Blazers 7-3 | Arsenal 1st | Charlton 9th) @zanger

That’s how you finish. Wow, Casemiro.

Mimi Fawaz @MimosaFawaz

What a lovely strike by Casemiro to put Brazil 🇧🇷 ahead. <br><br>Really lovely from the outside of his right boot by the Man United star. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a>

Orri Benatar @obenatar512

What a strike by Casemiro! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BRA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BRA</a>

B/R Football @brfootball

CASEMIRO IN THE 83RD MINUTE 😤 <a href="https://t.co/ofiHojwghx">pic.twitter.com/ofiHojwghx</a>

Andrew Cesare @AndrewCesare

What a finish by Casemiro. Just sensational. A player who really can do everything

It was enough for Brazil to get three points, bringing the team's total to six for the tournament. The squad has now clinched a spot in the knockout stage before its final group match against Cameroon.

Brazil's play still left questions about how far this team can advance if Neymar does not return to 100 percent. Brazil manager Tite must use the final group match to experiment with his deep roster of attacking options to find the best lineup for the later stages of the tournament.