Brazil lead Switzerland 1-0 at halftime

Oscar Cross
June 18, 2018

Brazil failed to win their opening match at the World Cup for the first time since 1978, when they drew 1-1 with Sweden; they had won nine in a row between 1982 and 2014.

Brazil's stuttering performance stemmed from anxiety at playing their first World Cup game, coach Tite said after their 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Group E on Sunday.

The Brazilians looked to be in full control of their opener when Phillipe Coutinho spectacularly fired home from range in the 20th minute. Mexican referee Cesar Ramos dismissed complaints that Zuber had shoved defender Miranda before getting to the corner from Xherdan Shaqiri.

Argentina have drawn, Germany bowed out to Mexico earlier today and Brazil have played out a draw which leaves the tournament open for the smaller teams as well.

The five-time World Cup winners from South America looked comfortable - nearly too comfortable at times - and the Swiss made them pay after the break.

Brazil went to sleep and Switzerland were level.

Swiss players ended up with three yellow cards, and 10 of the 14 fouls they committed were on Brazil forward Neymar. "We will continue to play with this consistency".

Coutinho's ability to score from range adds another attacking dimension to Tite's team, particularly when Brazil are finding it hard to break down defensively organized teams.

"If they push the player, what can I say?" This was the first mistake by the technology at the World Cup and it was a bad one.

The result left Serbia atop the group, as they beat Costa Rica 1-0 earlier in the day.

"I think the team has shown great determination and I'm very, very happy".

Swiss team coach Vladimir Petkovic during the FIFA World Cup 2018 Group E soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland, in Rostov-On-Don, Russia.

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