Brazil were made to pay for slack defending and sluggish finishing, as Switzerland neutralised them after Philippe Coutinho’s stunning opener.
With Argentina drawing, Germany losing and France stuttering to a victory over Australia, it was up to the Seleçao to make their debut in this tournament, but ran into many of the same problems.
There were several Serie A faces on show, including Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Inter defender Joao Miranda, Milan full-back Ricardo Rodriguez, plus Udinese’s Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili of Bologna.
Paulinho turned inches wide at the end of a long passing move, but the opener was a magnificent hit from Philippe Coutinho. The former Inter and Liverpool man curled a stunner in off the inside of the far top corner from just outside the box.
Ex-Milan defender Thiago Silva’s header whistled over from a corner, but Switzerland had a surprising amount of possession in the first half and Behrami kept Neymar quiet.
The team coached by ex-Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic got their equaliser, as Steven Zuber was allowed a totally free header from Ricardo Rodriguez’s corner.
Brazil struggled to get back in control and Coutinho scuffed from a promising position, while Gabriel Jesus had penalty appeals waved away for a tussle and Neymar’s strike was smothered.
Substitute Roberto Firmino blasted over from a tight angle and Neymar’s late header was straight at Yann Sommer. The goalkeeper had rather more to do on a Firmino free header from a set play and Inter defender Joao Miranda scuffed wide from a corner.
Brazil 1-1 Switzerland
Coutinho 20 (B), Zuber 50 (S)
Brazil: Alisson Becker; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro (Fernandinho 60), Paulinho (Renato Augusto 67); Willian, Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus (Firmino 79)
Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner (Lang 87), Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Behrami (Zakaria 71), Xhaka; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber; Seferovic (Embolo 80)
Ref: Ramos (MEX)
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