Sunday June 17 2018
World Cup: Swiss neutralise Selecao

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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