Milton Mashasha Sports Reporter.
Harare. (News of The South) – Brazil last 16 qualification hopes took a hit as they were held to a 1-1 draw in the World Cup group stages played yesterday evening in Russia.
Brazil nearly got their opener as early as the 11th minute when Paulinho got to the end of Neymar Jnr’s cross inside the 6 yard area but only to be denied by Yann Sommer from close range pushing the ball to safety, guiding the ball to miss the goal in just few inches. Switzland survived that early scare but the Brazilians kept the pressure on and Tite’s men were rewarded and got a deserved lead in the 20th minute through the Barcelona attacker Phillipe Coutinho with a fantastic finish, curling home a sensational right footer into the top corner living the Swiss goal minder Yann Sommer clutching on thin air.
Coutinho benefited from a poor clearance after an intended cross into the box from the left flank by Marcelo was headed into the path of Coutinho who drove forward to thrash a stunning curling strike into the left top corner.In the 31st minute the Switzland skipper Stephan Lichtsteiner was shown a yellow card for pulling Neymar Jnr from behind in a hustle of possession.
The Paris Saint Germain defender Thiago Silva came close in the 45th minute to double the lead but his header went over the bar.A minute later Casimero got a yellow card for a clumsy challenge to the opponent.It looked like Brazil were going to overrun Switzland but alas the Swiss had other ideas getting an important equalizer in the 50th minute in the second half from nowhere through Steven Zuber.The Swiss were awarded a corner kick which the veteran Xherda Shaqiri whipped in an inviting ball into the crowded box and Zuber created a space for him with a likely push on the defender before heading home from close range beating Alisson in goals for the Samba Boys.
The Brazilians were stunned by the un expected goal.Tite’s men dominated the possession but were caught off guard with their defenders in 6s and 7s, stood flat footed and akimbo when the corner kick was flighted into the box.Tite in that goal panic mode brought in,in a space of few minutes Fernadinho for Casimero, Renato Augusto for Paulinho and Roberto Firmino for the in effective Gabriel Jesus but nothing materialized. Neymar was totally under lock and key,the Swiss defensive linkman was all over him,he never gave him space to breath that is Volan Behrami although he was later substituted after being yellow carded and in came Denis Zakaria in the 70th minute.After Behrami’s substitution Neymar came close twice with the first chance when he got to the end of the cross in the box but directed his effort straight to the goal keeper Sommer and his final chance he whipped in a fantastic cross into the Swiss 18 yard box but Thiago Silva directed his effort to the goalkeeper Sommer who parried the ball away in the 90th minute then Miranda last chance for the Brazilians was in the 91st his shot went wide from outside the 18 yard box.
It was a bad day in office for Tite who is one of the favorites coaches to lead the Samba Boys to clinch the World prestigious title more so with that shock result in the earlier game where the Champions Germany were stunned by Mexico,Brazil had the advantage to open the strides.
Brazil had the chance to score more goals in that match but there were restricted by the disciplined Swiss.The Samba Boys are now under pressure to win all their remaining group matches in order to progress to the next stage.
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