Switzerland clinch draw against lacklustre Brazil

Florence Fletcher
June 20, 2018

Philippe Coutinho scored a stunning goal after 20 minutes but Steven Zuber's header five minutes after half time earned the Swiss a draw as Brazil struggled for fluidity, especially after the break.

The last time it didn't win its first game in a World Cup, Pele had just retired from soccer.

Switzerland continued an impressive run in global games, proving their mettle in the 1-1 draw against Brazil.

After Argentina failed to beat Iceland and Germany lost to Mexico, Brazil, one of the tournament favorites, drew Switzerland 1-1 on Sunday despite creating chances to secure three points in their Group E match of the Football World Cup here.

Paris St Germain forward Neymar has been battling back from injury having suffered a fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle in February. And with the team's top star not expected to be at his best again for the game against Costa Rica on Friday, it will be up to Coutinho to step forward and try to lead the five-time champions. "It's practically impossible to neutralize a player like Neymar for the full 90 minutes".

The world's most expensive player appeared to be limping on several occasions during the second half, with rips in his socks clearly visible, but Coutinho said Neymar has shrugged off Switzerland's aggressive tactics.

Despite heaps of possession and the introduction of Roberto Firmino, Brazil were unable to find a winning goal and Tite's side settled for an unwanted point in a day of World Cup upsets.

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Former Switzerland striker Stephane Chapuisat has backed Vladimir Petkovic's team to cause Brazil problems in their 2018 World Cup opener on Sunday night.

The coach didn't want to criticise the referee after Gabriel Jesus went down in the Swiss area in the second half, but he did say he thought Zuber had pushed defender Joao Miranda prior to the equalizer.

"All matches will be like this and we have to live with that". "We had some great moments and positive moments".

Petkovic, meanwhile, has been impressed by Brazil's progress under Tite, but the Switzerland coach has no intention of affording the South American heavyweights an easy ride next to the banks of the Don River. We had 20 finishes but we should have made the goalkeeper work harder. "He's not 100 per cent yet, but he's good enough to play very well".

"I guess it was foul", he told reporters.

"Playing against Spain (a 1-1 draw in a World Cup warmup) and Brazil the way we did, we showed we could react and demonstrate that this team can believe in themselves".

After blanking against Switzerland he'll be looking to open his account when Brazil face Costa Rica (June 22) before ending their group phase campaign against Serbia (June 27).

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