Brazil, Portugal reach World Cup last 16

Joao Felix of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Bernardo Silva of Portugalcelebrates goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group H match between Portugal v Uruguay at Al Janoub Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.

Brazil and Portugal secured their places in the round of 16 on a thrilling ninth day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Monday.

Casemiro struck late as Brazil outlasted Switzerland with a 1-0 win in their Group G match at Stadium 974 in Doha.

The Manchester United midfielder put his side ahead in the 83rd minute when his first-time shot deflected in off Manuel Akanji following Rodrygo’s flicked pass.

Brazil have now won their past nine matches and will progress to the last 16 of football’s showpiece tournament irrespective of the result of their final group game against Cameroon on Friday. Switzerland must defeat Serbia to guarantee their place in the next round in Qatar.

Brazil went into Monday’s duel without talismanic forward Neymar, who suffered an ankle injury in the 2-0 victory over Serbia last Thursday. The 30-year-old was originally expected to miss the rest of the group stage but could return for the clash against Cameroon.

Earlier, Cameroon kept alive their hopes of reaching last 16 when they recovered from a two-goal deficit to draw 3-3 with Serbia earlier on Monday.

Cameroon went ahead through Jean-Charles Castelletto before Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic netted in quick succession to give Serbia the lead before halftime.

Aleksandar Mitrovic extended the European side’s advantage but the Indomitable Lions rallied as Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting struck within three minutes.

Mitrovic almost restored Cameroon’s lead with a stoppage-time effort that flew just wide after Dusan Tadic’s pass.

At Education City stadium, Mohammed Kudus netted a brace as Ghana beat South Korea 3-2 in their pulsating Group H encounter.

Mohammed Salisu opened the scoring for the African side with a 24th-minute strike and Kudus doubled the advantage just beyond the half-hour.

Two world-class headers in three minutes from Cho Gue-sung put the Asian outfit on level terms but Kudus rifled home a third goal for Ghana as Otto Addo’s men maintained their hopes of progressing to the last 16.

In the late game, Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Portugal took revenge for their World Cup exit to Uruguay in 2018 with a 2-0 win in the Lusail Stadium.

The midfielder opened the scoring in the 54th minute with a cross that evaded everyone to end in the Uruguay net, while his second was an injury time penalty given for a handball.

The result books Portugal’s place in the last 16, while Uruguay will have to beat Ghana and hope that South Korea don’t defeat a Portugal side that can now rest players.

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