Brazil held to 1-1 draw by Switzerland at World Cup

May JohnsonJun 20, 2018

In the first game, he only shot four times and two were on target, which is a significantly poor performance by the Paris Saint-Germain striker.

"I think Switzerland have done very well in the past".

Their promising start could not last and soon Switzerland were sitting back as Brazil passed the ball crisply around the pitch, nearly finding a breakthrough when Paulinho dragged a shot across the face of goal and wide of the far post with 10 minutes played.

Brazil continued the trend of tournament favourites underperforming as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland in their World Cup Group E opener in Rostov.

Brazil's previous two World Cup matches saw them humiliated on home soil by a 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany in 2014 followed by a 3-0 loss to Holland in the third-placed play-off. 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 was one of the key ingredients to neutralise Neymar".

Neymar was fouled 10 times, more than any player in a single World Cup match since Alan Shearer 20 years ago, and provoked Switzerland's three yellow cards for Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schaer and Valon Behrami.

Neymar and Brazil will have to get used to World Cup opponents trying to break up their attacking rhythm with tactical fouls, says Philippe Coutinho.

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"We had real difficulties in the first 40 minutes, I said "let's remain calm, focused and believe in ourselves, push up higher up the pitch and create opportunities to score".

APBrazil joined the list of big teams struggling to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russian Federation. The latter will take on Switzerland in another important group-stage match the same day.

But the 26-year-old's strike eventually was not enough as some unconvincing defending from Miranda allowed Steven Zuber to level the scoring early in the second half after a Ricardo Rodriguez corner.

"Yes, Switzerland hit us a lot. but all matches will be like this, I guess", Coutinho told reporters. We had 20 finishes but we should have made the goalkeeper work harder. Sometimes if there is a lack of recognition that is a pity because we have played very well.

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).

A fully fit Neymar will be needed if Brazil can't turn things around and arrive for the deciding match against Serbia on the brink of elimination.

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