Switzerland hold Brazil in another upset at Russian Federation 2018

Switzerland hold Brazil in another upset at Russian Federation 2018

There is no doubt in my mind that Switzerland's equalising goal against Brazil on Sunday should have been ruled out by the video assistant referee.

The South American powerhouse is a perennial contender and this campaign they certainly have the assets in all thirds to emerge victorious.

Brazil forward Neymar has made his first competitive start since injuring his ankle and metatarsal in February after being named in coach Tite's starting line-up for the five-times winners' World Cup opener against Switzerland on Sunday. Switzerland won't be a breeze, even if its No. 6 position in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings is a touch lofty.

Brazil came on strong in the closing stages as Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Miranda all went close but the resolute Swiss held on.

Philippe Coutinho's curling, right-footed blast off the post left keeper Yann Sommer grasping at air just 20 minutes in.

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Brazil were caught sleeping as Xherdan Shaqiri fired in a corner and Zuber sent a thumping header past goalkeeper Alisson.

Brazil went all out in pursuit of a victor and came agonisingly close to finding it as Coutinho and Miranda lashed wide from inside the area while Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino were denied by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Switzerland have lost only one of their last 23 matches (W16 D6), a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in October 2017.

Coutinho's whirlwind finish delighted the Rostov Arena, where yellow-shirted Brazil fans vastly outnumbered the red of the Swiss, although Tite's side failed to build further momentum, as Neymar was frequently stopped in his tracks by tactical fouls.