Brazil’s routine victory over Serbia confirmed their status as Group E winners, while Switzerland finish runners-up despite a draw with Costa Rica. The sides face Mexico and Sweden in the round of 16, respectively.
World Cup day 13 had no additional surprises in store as Brazil and Switzerland secured their place in the last 16. An upset was always unlikely, with Serbia needing a win against the five-time world champions to usurp them in the knockout stages, and Switzerland taking on last-placed Costa Rica.
Brazil gave Serbia an uphill task in the 36th minute; Coutinho finding his Barcelona teammate Paulinho on the run to poke home from close range. The outstanding Vladimir Stojkovic kept Serbia in the game with a string of excellent second half saves and could do nothing about Thiago Silva doubling Brazil’s lead in the 69th minute. The Paris Saint Germain captain was the first to arrive at an outswinging Neymar corner, his header all but confirming his side’s place in the last 16.
Switzerland, meanwhile, had victory snatched from them in the dying moments. Bryan Ruiz’s penalty struck the underside of the bar but bounced back off the head of goalkeeper Yann Sommer and into the net to earn the nation a hard-fought draw.
Switzerland twice led, first through Blerim Džemaili, who smashed home from close range after the ball was headed down to him, and then Drmic, who thought he’d sealed three points in the 88th minute. Costa Rica’s equalizing goal, scored by Kendall Watson, meant that every team in the World Cup registered at least once in the competition.
Brazil face Mexico in the last-16, while Switzerland take on Sweden for a spot in the quarterfinals.
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