Russia 2018: Brazil, Switzerland advance to round of 16

On a day the defending world champions, Germany were knocked out, Brazil produced arguably their best football at the 2018 FIFA World Cup to qualify for the knockout phase on  Wednesday.

Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0, courtesy of goals from midfielder, Paulinho and defender, Thiago Silva.

The South American giants are safely through to the next round, finishing as group winners with seven points, two points ahead of second placed Switzerland, who were denied all three points at the dead against Costa Rica.

Both sides went into the match with a chance of qualifying from the group, but Brazil needed a point while Serbia must win to book their place.

However, after an exhilarating opening half an hour, which saw the  Samba Boys dominate, they finally broke the deadlock, when Paulinho chipped the goalkeeper following a brilliant through pass by  Philippe Coutinho in the 36th minute.

The first half ended with the five-time winners deservedly ahead, leaving the Serbians with  a lot to think about.

After the restart, both sides started brightly, but it was the Serbians who asked the most questions as they began to pile on the pressure in search of the equaliser.

Despite coming close on occasions through Nemanja Matic, Adam Ljajic, and Aleksandar Mitrović, who had two good opportunities to level up the tie, they were made to pay for their profligacy as Silva doubled Brazil’s advantage 22minutes from time.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender jumped highest to head home a thunderous header off a Neymar corner to seal the win and all three points.

Having booked their place, Brazil will face Mexico in the next round, while Switzerland take on Sweden.

Swiss Denied by Late Own Goal

Switzerland joined Brazil as the two teams to qualify from group E, after an exciting 2-2 draw with Costa Rica.

The Swiss opened the scoring through an excellent Blerim Dzemaili strike in the first half, before Costa Rica drew level in the second half thanks to Kendall Watson.

Josip Domic restored Switzerland’s lead two minutes from time, but just when they thought that was the last drama, the Costa Ricans snatched a point after a penalty by Bryan Ruiz came off the bar to hit the back of goalkeeper, Yann Sommer and into the net.

Already eliminated Costa Rica join Serbia to book an early flight back home but with a point, with the Swiss progressing to the next round.

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