Brazil held to shock draw by Switzerland in Group E opener
GB news 24 desk//
Switzerland battled back from a goal down to earn a point in a 1-1 draw with Brazil as the two teams opened Group E play at Rostov Arena on Sunday.
The Selecao, who had won nine-straight World Cup openers coming into the match, were firmly on the front foot from the outset and might have been ahead just past the 10-minute mark had Paulinho not scuffed his close-range shot just wide of the far post.
The opener came soon after, though, when Philippe Coutinho curled in an absolute stunner from 20 yards out to put his team in front after some nice build-up play from Brazil. It was Coutinho’s 11th goal in 37 matches with Brazil.
However, the Swiss hit back soon after the start of the second half when Steven Zuber smashed a header home from a corner kick with Brazil players unsuccessfully asking the referee for a foul against Joao Miranda on the play.
Brazil pushed hard for the winner — with Neymar heading right at Jan Sommer in the Switzerland goal in the 87th minute and Roberto Firmino doing the same soon after — but had to settle for a draw and one point that leaves them in a tie for second place in their group.