The World Cup has already thrown up some surprising results, and tonight’s tie between Brazil and Switzerland was no different.
The Group E clash saw Brazil enter the tournament with hopes higher than they have been in years, with talisman Neymar leading the charge.
The star-studded side started well, culminating in an early ‘goal of the tournament’ contender via Barcelona man Philippe Coutinho. His magnificent calling card of cutting in from the left to fire at the far top corner paid off once again after 20 minutes.
Despite the lead, Brazil didn’t look like pulling away from the Swiss anytime soon. For their part, Switzerland acquitted themselves well, particularly Valon Behrami, without providing the needed quality in the final third – not the first underdog to do so in the tournament.
They showed more attacking nous after the break, and a breakthrough came just five minutes into the second half.
A well-struck Xherdan Shaqiri corner found Steven Zuber, who was relatively free in the box despite no less than six opposing players being in the vicinity. He headed the ball home to make it level.
Zuber did lightly push Miranda before heading, but the referee decided to let it go.
Now chasing a second goal, Brazil had numerous chances, with Neymar in particular threatening the Swiss goal.
Renato Augusto did some great work in the box to find Neymar, who requested a penalty having been brought down but to no avail. A lacklustre Gabriel Jesus was brought ashore for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino. The forward had a shot at a tough angle, but drove it over the bar, and a header just before added time was saved well by Yann Sommer.
Their foes brought on the highly-touted Breel Embolo with ten minutes left.
Brazil had far more of the attacking possession, but ultimately, were unable to break down Vladimir Petkovic’s game side.
Serbia top Group E after their win over Costa Rica. In order to top the group, Tite and co. need a result against the Serbians in ten days time. Before then, they play Costa Rica this coming Friday.