Switzerland stun Brazil by sharing points in a 1-1 draw

Lawrence Kim
June 18, 2018

After missing a number of late chances to win the game, Brazil were forced to settle for a draw from their opening match of the tournament and Tite was disappointed with their finishing.

Earlier, in the second match of the day, CONCACAF kingpins Mexico pulled off a massive upset in Group F when they clipped defending champions Germany 1-0.

The five-time winners failed to extend their lead and were punished early in the second half when Steven Zuber lost his marker at a corner and equalised - a goal that might have opened the game up had Brazil been at their best. Shaqiri's in swinging corner from the right was powered home by Zuber after he rose above defender Joao Miranda and headed the ball past goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

The Mexican referee Cesar Arturo Ramos made a clear and obvious error in not penalising the foul. It's for the referee to see it. "But it didn't happen", Miranda said.

"We didn't deserve to end with a draw. We knew this game wasn't going to be easy".

Tite did not complain that his side were denied a penalty when Manuel Akanji wrapped his arms around Gabriel Jesus and had little sympathy with claims some of his players had been fouled when Switzerland levelled.

It was Coutinho who stood out for Brazil with his dazzling display.

Meanwhile, Tite's opposite number Vladimir Petkovic said he hoped his team would get some deserved recognition for the hard-earned point after few had given Switzerland a chance against one of the favourites in Russian Federation.

"Of course, neutralizing Neymar was a key ingredient of our game", he added.

"I can't coach a team who complains".

"Until we scored the goal there was a lot of pressure. They did, and it worked".

Brazil went all out in pursuit of a victor and came agonisingly close to finding it as Coutinho and Miranda lashed wide from inside the area while Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino were denied by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

"I'm very glad to score but what was important was our effort to win and what we did as a team is what counts", Coutinho said.

Brazil also need to improve on dead balls, said Tite. "There was a lot of anxiety, too much pressure and it translated into our way of playing, we were not precise enough", Tite told a news conference.

The Brazilians remain haunted by their 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals that was followed by a 3-0 defeat against the Netherlands in the third-place playoff. The Selcao will be up against Costa Rica in their second Group E encounter on Friday, June 22nd.

Petkovic said it was time the world took notice of his team, which is sixth in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and won nine of its 10 qualifying matches to reach its fourth straight World Cup. "I said to him: "Don't fall, don't draw a foul". "Sometimes there is a lack of recognition (in Switzerland's ability) and I think that's a pity because this team really believes in itself and can achieve results".

"If they push the player, what can I say?"

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.

"The goal, the aggressiveness, the creative plays, it was characteristic of our team", Tite said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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