Firmino features as Brazil held by Switzerland

Virginia Santiago
June 20, 2018

AgenciesSwitzerland were never regarded as one of the pre-tournament World Cup favourites but after they thwarted heavyweights Brazil with a gutsy 1-1 draw in their Group E opener on Sunday, they could be dreaming of a deep run in Russian Federation.

After Mexico had stunned defending champions Germany there was more surprise in the offing as Switzerland held five-time winners Brazil to a 1-1 draw.

With Coutinho's 20th- minute stunner from outside the box, Brazil have now scored 37 goals from outside the box at the World Cup.

Neymar and Miranda argue with the referee Cesar Ramos, something Brazil manager Tite did not appreciate.

"I was pushed out of the way". It's for the referee to see it. "But it didn't happen", Miranda said. "We got a draw but this is only the beginning for us". Four years ago, things reached its nadir when the Brazilian star striker was literally kicked out of the tournament during the 2-1 quarterfinal win over Columbia.

Neymar left Brazil training on Tuesday after just 15 minutes with a right ankle injury that the team doctor said is related to a foul he suffered against Switzerland and not his recently broken right foot.

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Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic described the incident against Miranda as an "ordinary challenge". He also dismissed charges that Neymar had been treated harshly.

"I was hit and it was aching, but [it's] nothing to worry. after your body is cold, it aches a little more but that's OK", he said.

"The draw will not shake us, some good teams have started the tournament losing, we're focused on our next game, where I'm sure we will play well and go all out for the win", he said. "They did, and it worked". "We'll try to win the three points in the next one". "We had some great moments and positive moments".

"All matches will be like this and we have to live with that".

At one such pub, a sizeable Brazilian crowd had gathered.

"It was a foul", Tite said.

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"When we are able to play forward and press higher up we were able to do it well and it is an excellent starting position for the rest of our group matches".

"The team was looking to move the ball and to work our rivals, but this will serve as a lesson, we have to be a bit cooler and more precise". "I'm not happy with this result".

Brazil's next game is on Friday against Costa Rica, who lost 1-0 to Serbia in their opener.

The result means that Serbia lead Group E after beating Costa Rica 1-0 earlier in the day.

The only nation to compete in every World Cup, Brazil has won five of the 20 championships, more than any other team. It's a very clear play, it's very, very clear.

Credit must be given to Ambassador Michaelsen Den Hartog, who had said before the match that Switzerland would have made it hard for his team to win. "We must be wary that they are very strong".

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