Casemiro played the full 90 minutes in Brazil’s 1-0 win over Colombia in Sao Paulo. Vinicius Jr. played the second 45 minutes and looked bright. Eder Militao was an unused substitute on the day. The win all but secures Brazil’s place in the next World Cup. Their place in Qatar will be officially booked if Uruguay fail to beat Argentina tomorrow.
Casemiro was the only Real Madrid player who started the match. Both Eder Militao and Vinicius Jr. were available off the bench for Tite. Brazil came into the match in first place in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying and Colombia in fifth. But Los Cafeteros are the only side to take points off Brazil in this qualifying campaign in a 0-0 draw in Colombia.
The match got off to a frenetic pace and was very stop-start for the first 15 minutes. Casemiro was the calmest presence on the pitch in a match marked by high-speed transition and crunching tackles.
Colombia sat back in a mid-to-low block and aggressively swarmed players in the midfield. Casemiro was relatively unpressed in possession and was able to swing the ball wide and into the forwards as Brazil looked to exploit the space left on the Colombian flanks due to Los Cafeteros’ narrow defensive structure.
Los Cafeteros had the better of the chances early in the first half. Colombia settled for shots from distance and caused danger from set-pieces. Brazil struggled to create anything let alone enter the final third.
Brazil found more success as the half progressed and eventually created the best chance of the first half. Danilo was played through down the right flank and his deflected shot ricocheted off the post. Colombia responded with a few dangerous shots from distance but weren’t really able to test Alisson Becker. In first-half stoppage time, Marquinhos fired a free header just wide of the post and the teams went into the break knotted at zeros.
Tite made a half time substitution that saw Vinicius Jr. introduced in place of Fred. Vinicius took up a spot on the left flank and immediately started taking on Colombian defenders. Brazil showed signs of life when they were able to get the ball to the Real Madrid forward but countinued to struggle in the final third as a team.
Brazil looked best whenever Vinicius got on the ball. He burst down the flank and caused danger with his blistering pace and he forced Colombia into issues with his relentless pressing.
Neymar eventually orchestrated the opener. Marquinhos won the ball back and played it quickly to Neymar, who hit it first time into the path of the on-rushing Lucas Paqueta. The Olympique Lyonnais man poked it past David Ospina and into the back of the net.
Casemiro was shown a yellow card in the 84th minute of the match for a late challenge on former Real Madrid teammate James Rodriguez, which means the Brazilian will now miss the next match against Argentina.
In the 87th minute, Vinicius flew down the middle of the pitch before spraying it wide to Neymar. Vinicius continued his run into the box and Neymar played him through. Vinicius lost his footing and failed to steer a shot on target. Vinicius was booked for breaking up a counter attack in stoppage time.
Th Brazilians were able to see out the result and made it 11 wins from 12 in World Cup Qualifying. Brazil will travel to Argentina next. The match kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 16.