Switzerland kept up their hugely impressive form at Nigeria 2009, beating Brazil 1-0 to keep up their perfect record and finish Group A in first place. Despite heavy pressure from the South Americans, a goal from Nassim Ben Khalifa in the first half was enough to settle the contest in Abuja 1-0. With Mexico winning the other game in the section and finishing second, Brazil - with only three points - now face a nervy wait to see if they can squeak through as one of the top third-place finishers.
The Brazilians came out flying at the start of the game, but Switzerland quickly got hold of the contest with some efficient build-ups and smooth attacking play. After only 20 minutes they had carved out a good opening and put themselves into the lead. Pajtim Kasami forced Brazilian goalkeeper Allison into a fine save from a corner kick, but the defence failed to clear the danger as Nassim Ben Khalifa headed the rebound into an open goal.
Stunned by the setback, Brazil roared forward in search of an equaliser. Coutinho was looking like the South Americans' danger man, and he twice tested Swiss keeper Benjamin Siegrist. As the first half wound down, though, the Swiss had a chance to double their lead and the Brazilians also looked capable of grabbing an equaliser.
The South Americans came out from the changing rooms desperately searching for a breakthrough and in the 53rd minute Coutinho turned his man inside out before trying a shot from inside the area that was batted away by the Swiss defence. The outstanding Coutinho continued to torment the Swiss defence as the half wore on, with the Europeans looking consistently dangerous on the counter-attack. In the 63rd minute, Xhaka laid the ball in for Oliver Buff, whose shot was miraculously saved by Allison.
Ten minutes later, Coutinho had a rifle shot from close in somehow blocked off the line by Andre Goncalves as the Brazilians just could not find their way past a determined Swiss rearguard. As the final whistle approached, the Brazilian attacks were beginning to look irresistible. With ten minutes to go, Goncalves - seconds earlier the hero - was sent off for a petulant outburst. Even with a numerical advantage, the Brazilians could not find their way in and sulked off the pitch after a second straight loss.
The Swiss finish top of Group A with a perfect nine points from their three games, while Brazil, having collected just three points, face a nervous wait to see if they came stumble through as one of the top third-place finishers.