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Casemiro eye-catching in Brazil’s 1-0 win over Chile

Brazil v Chile: Quarterfinal - Copa America Brazil 2021 Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Chile brought the best challenge we’ve seen so far of Brazil’s status as kings of South America, but still fell short in spite of having a man advantage for most of the second half.

Casemiro started this one, among his first starts since the opening win against Venezuela, however Militao was benched despite having several strong showings in the group stage. The match was what you’d expect of a game containing both Casemiro and Vidal in midfield, physical, tight and filled with glints of quality from Neymar.

All these qualities were on display in the opening goal where a series of flicks from Casemiro, Roberto Firminio and Neymar as well as a mistake (or push?) in the Chilean defence allowed Lucas Paquetá to slot home.

60 seconds later, Gabriel Jesus decided to emulate the famed Manchester kung fu kick and saw an immediate red and inspiring a period of dominance for Chile.

One could argue that Chile had the chances to come back into the game, hitting the post and having a equalizer ruled out for a marginal offside. However, in hindsight, Alexis Sanchez really struggled to break Brazil down for the most part with Casemiro’s surprisingly finessed performance in midfield playing a big role in that. Turning out of trouble on several ocassions and displaying a very measured and accurate ball under pressure, Case put in a man of the match caliber performance.

Eder Militao, meanwhile came on to see out the end of the game which included a hefty six minutes of added time. Peru awaits on Monday in the semi-finals, the hosts heavy favourite to progress after overcoming a huge challenge in retaining their crown against Chile.