Switzerland frustrate Brazil in WC clash
Posted: 17 June 2018 Time: 06:30 pm
Switzerland denied Brazil three points in their 2018 World Cup opener with a second-half equaliser to force a 1-1 draw in Rostov.
Brazil, who received a message from their federation president backing them to reclaim the cup, started with their imperious front-four Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho and Willian.
The first opening came from Switzerland when Vedran Desmaili tried to place an effort on goal, but his attempt came off the top of the side-netting on three minutes.
Brazil soon stepped up, and Paulinho was inches away, arguably unfortunate not to have put them ahead when his low shot from close range trickled wide.
Trying to sustain the mounting pressure, the Swiss finally succumbed as a stunning strike from an acute angle by Coutinho gave the Selecao the lead on 20 minutes.
Towards halftime, the Swiss managed to pin the Brazilians back as they applied much pressure but were unable to find any holes.
Switzerland came out a different side after the break and continued posing problems. They went level after Stephen Zuber headed home from an unmarked position following a corner on 50 minutes.
Brazil were struggling to get a grip on the clash, as the Swiss took complete control of the tie for a quarter of the second half.
After numerous fouls on Neymar, the Swiss were struggling to contain him and his tricky movements.
Tite made two changes off the bench, bringing on midfield players such as Fernandinho and Renato Augusto.
On 70 minutes, Coutinho was picked out by an exquisite ball from Neymar but after a chest control, fired way off target.
Substitute Roberto Firmino fancied his chances from a tight angle moments after coming on, but the attempt skied over the top 10 minutes from time.
In the final few minutes, Brazil continued their efforts to get the winner but a great save from Jan Sommer denied Firmino a minute from full time as the Swiss secured a famous result.
The draw sees Selecao occupy second spot, two points behind leaders Serbia, while Switzerland and Costa Rica sit in third and fourth respectively.
Brazil: Alisson, Silva, Miranda, Casemiro, Jesus, Neymar, Coutinho, Marcelo, Danilo, Paulinho, Willian.
Switzerland: Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Akanji, Seferovic, Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Zuber, Dzemaili, Schaer, Shaqiri.