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FIFA World Cup 2018: Brazilians disappointed after 1-1 tie against Switzerland

Brazil joined the list of big teams like Germany, Spain and Argentina who failed to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russia.

Reported by: AP , Rio de Janeiro [ Published on: June 18, 2018 12:01 IST ]
Image Source : AP IMAGES

Brazil fans show their disappointment after the team drew 1-1 with Switzerland in their opening game of FIFA World Cup 2018.

Disappointment and frustration swept over Brazilians who gathered at public squares, bars and parks across Latin America's biggest country to watch their national team end up with a 1-1 tie in their opening World Cup match.

In Rio de Janeiro, thousands jammed the downtown Maua Square to watch Brazil's game with Switzerland on large TV screens. People cheered wildly when Brazil made it 1-0. But the mood started declining into glumness once Switzerland scored the equalizer and Brazil failed to get in another goal.

People watching the game in Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and other cities in soccer-mad Brazil expressed similar feelings of disappointment.

Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russia.

The five-time champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday, a few hours after four-time champion Germany was beaten by Mexico 1-0.

Philippe Coutinho, who was making his World Cup debut, gave Brazil the lead in the 20th minute with a volley that bounced in off the right post. Steven Zuber then headed in the equalizer in the 50th. Mexican referee Cesar Ramos dismissed complaints that Zuber had shoved defender Miranda before getting to the corner from Xherdan Shaqiri.

"I was pushed out of the way. There is a video of what happened and the referee could have seen it. But it didn't happen," Miranda said. "We got a draw but this is only the beginning for us. We knew this game wasn't going to be easy."

Ramos also ignored a penalty claim late in the second half when Gabriel Jesus was wrestled to the ground by Switzerland defender Manuel Akanji.

Swiss players ended up with three yellow cards, and 10 of the 14 fouls they committed were on Brazil forward Neymar.

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

"Of course, neutralizing Neymar was a key ingredient of our game," he added.

Switzerland dominated the midfield for long spells against a Brazil team that had been keen to start with a win after its disastrous exit as host in 2014.

"I am proud of their determination," Petkovic said of his team. "The first 40 minutes were tough for us, and at halftime, I told the players to stay cool and press forward. They did, and it worked."

Coutinho had another chance to put Brazil in the lead but he sent the ball wide in the 67th minute.

"I'm very glad to score but what was important was our effort to win and what we did as a team is what counts," Coutinho said. "We had some great moments and positive moments. Now we need to think about the next match."

Brazil has won 17 of its 22 matches since Tite took over as coach in 2016. But they couldn't get another one in front of a very Brazil-friendly crowd at the Rostov Arena.

Besides Brazil and Germany, Argentina was held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland on Saturday, and Spain and Portugal played to a 3-3 draw on Friday.

Tite said he wouldn't make excuses for the disappointing scoreline.

"What happened with Miranda was clear, but it doesn't explain the result," Tite said. "There was a lot of pressure and anxiety on the players and that translated into the finishes that were not precise. We had 20 finishes but we should have to make the goalkeeper work harder.

"But of course I'm not happy with the result and of course I wanted to win tonight."

The Brazilians remain haunted by their 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals that was followed by a 3-0 defeat against the Netherlands in the third-place playoff.

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Group A

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Pakistan 1 1 0 2 0
  • India 0 0 0 0 0
  • Hong Kong 1 0 1 0 0

Group B

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Bangladesh 1 1 0 2 0
  • Afghanistan 1 1 0 2 0
  • Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 0