Brazil and Switzerland played out to a 1-1 draw in Group E at the Rostov Arena on Sunday evening.
Brazil 1 Switzerland 1
Dzemaili misses a good chance in third minute
Paulinho fails to convert in 15th minute
Coutinho scores 20th minute stunner
Zuber nets equaliser four minutes into the second-half
Steven Zuber’s second-half header cancelled out a stunning first-half strike from Philippe Coutinho to ensure Brazil and Switzerland shared the spoils in the second game in Group E. The draw leaves both teams two points behind Serbia who claimed a one-nil victory over Costa Rica in the first fixture of the group earlier in the day.
Brazil came into the game unbeaten in their last 18 World Cup opening round fixtures but it was the Swiss who settled the quicker of the two sides and made inroads into the their defence in just the third minute off the game. Xherdan Shaqiri played a clever ball into the box from the right that Blerim Dzemaili hit first time but failed to hit the target with his volleyed attempt.
Eight minutes later it was the chance of the five-time champions to threaten. Neat build up play on the edge of the box by Philippe Coutinho and Neymar Junior allowed the latter to get to the byline and cut the ball back for Paulinho but the Barcelona midfielder scuffed his shot wide off the target from just six-yards out.
The Samba Boys then took the lead in spectacular fashion midway through the first half. Marcelo Viera sent in a cross from the left that was only partially cleared by Steven Zuberto from the edge of the box where Coutinho needed just one touch out of his feet for him to produce his trademark curling effort which started outside the post and clipped the inside right bar before it flew into the back off the net.
On the stroke of half-time Selecao went inches away from a second goal. Thiago Silva made a dash to the near post but failed to keep his glancing header on target after he was picked out by his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar from a left sided corner.
Die Nati equalised four minutes after the restart with their first shot on target. 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.
Adenor Leonardo Bacchi’s side had a glorious chance to win the game 20 minutes from time. Neymar crossed the ball from the left for Coutinho who brought it down well on his chest but could not make proper contact and sent his volley wide right off the post.
Tite’s side almost stole the three points in the last minute of regulation time but defender Miranda flashed his half volley wide of the left post.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side stood strong and weathered the Brazilian storm in the closing stages to claim a valuable point against the group favourites. They will now play group leaders Serbia on 22 June while Brazil will look to get back to winning ways when they face fellow South Americans, Costa Rica on the same day.