Brazil entered Sunday’s Group E game against Switzerland having won 16 of their last 18 opening matches at the World Cup, but the Brazilians were unable to secure three points in a 1-1 draw with the Swiss in Russia.
Brazil took the lead 20 minutes into the first half when Barcelona midfielder Phillipe Coutinho scored a brilliant goal on a shot that bended just enough inside the post to hit the iron and find the back of the net.
Steven Zuber, a midfielder for Hoffenheim, equalized for Switzerland in the second half, heading home a goal off a corner kick in the 50th minute.
This goal was the sixth for Switzerland (four goals, two assists) that Zuber directly has been involved in over his last six games for the national squad.
Brazil was the slightly better team overall, accumulating a 52-48 percent possession advantage and firing 20 shots (four on target) to Switzerland’s six (two on net). The Brazilians had a 7-2 edge in corner kicks as well.
Brazil had a few good scoring chances late, including a shot in stoppage time by center back Miranda from inside the box that slipped just wide of the left post. Switzerland survived a Neymar free kick and another corner kick in the final minute of stoppage time.
The Swiss were fortunate to earn a draw when you consider that Brazil had won 37 of the 40 previous World Cup games during which they scored first.
Serbia, with their win over Costa Rica, leads the Group E standings with three points. Brazil and Switzerland are tied in second place with a point apiece, while Costa Rica is at the bottom with zero points.
Man of the Match
Coutinho’s goal, and his playmaking in the midfield, earns him this honor. He was the catalyst for Brazil’s attack, which was unlucky not to score two or three times.
Group E action resumes Friday, June 22, with Brazil taking on Costa Rica at 8 a.m. ET and Serbia squaring off with Switzerland at 2 p.m. ET.
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