Sunday, February 24, 2019 | ePaper

Coutinho scorcher not enough as Brazil held 1-1 by Swiss

  • Print




ROSTOV-ON-DON (Reuters) - Brazil joined the host of big guns who have failed to fire in their opening World Cup game as lax defending from a corner allowed Switzerland to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s spectacular curling strike and grab a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
The five-times world champions took a deserved lead midway through the first half in the Group E game when Coutinho’s irresistible long-distance shot cannoned in off the far post, but Tite’s side, who had looked so impressive in the tournament build-up, did not build on their advantage.

The highly organized Swiss hit back early in the second period from one of their few chances as Brazil’s Casemiro and Miranda switched off and the unmarked Steven Zuber barely had to leave his feet to nod in Xherdan Shaqiri’s whipped corner.

Brazil went all out in pursuit of a winner and came agonizingly 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.

They had to settle for a point and joined fellow tournament favorites Germany, Spain and Argentina in failing to win their first game.

It was also the first time Brazil had not won a World Cup opener since drawing 1-1 with Sweden in the 1978 tournament.

“I was expecting to get a victory so, of course, I’m not happy with the result,” Brazil coach Tite told a news conference.

“At this stage of a World Cup you have to take advantage of a goal and see that your opponents are taking risks and you need to have faster transitions.”

Tite did not complain that his side were denied a penalty when Manuel Akanji wrapped his arms around Gabriel Jesus and had little sympathy with claims some of his players had been fouled when Switzerland leveled.

“I can’t coach a team who complains. You can interpret the penalty in any way but there’s no way you can complain,” he added.

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.

Brazil always looked in control until they ceded a corner and Zuber took full advantage of their collective lapse of concentration to level.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic was delighted with how his side followed his gameplan.

“I am very proud of my team’s discipline, it was everything we talked about,” he said.

“I hope that people will take notice of us now and take us seriously, sometimes there’s a lack of recognition toward us and that’s a pity because we played very well.”

More News For this Category

India urgently deploys 10,000 paramilitary soldiers to Kashmir

IANS, New Delhi :The move comes after the worst-ever terror attack last week on a CRPF convoy.In the wake of the Pulwama attack, the Centre has decided to deploy

Chemicals couldn`t be removed for owners` unwillingness: PM

Chemicals couldn`t be removed for owners` unwillingness: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said it is regretful that chemical godowns in Old Dhaka could not be relocated for the reluctance of owners."The government wanted to construct ultramodern

Hasan for looking into BNP's link to fire incident

BSS, Chattogram :Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday  said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's statement that 'the Chawlkbazar fire incident occurred due to absence of democracy' prompted to look into whether

Chawkbazar tragedy Dilip Barua blames Amu

Staff Reporter :Blaming immediate past Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal General Secretary Dilip Barua on Saturday said had he (Amu) taken the relocation issue seriously, the shifting

UN mourns deaths in Chawkbazar fire

Diplomatic Correspondent Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Antonio Guterres has expressed deep shock at the loss of lives in the deadly inferno that broke out in Chawkbazar area

Mainul not allowed to go to Bangkok for health check-up

Staff Reporter :The immigration officials at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), Dhaka declined Barrister Mainul Hosein to leave for Bangkok yesterday refusing to accept unconditional bail granted by the High

Removal of chemicals begins

Removal of chemicals begins

Staff Reporter :Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon on Saturday said that no inflammable chemical would be allowed to store in old Dhaka any more. He reiterated his decision

Pakistan army ready with 'full force' if India attacks

Pakistan army ready with 'full force' if India attacks

Al Jazeera News :The Pakistani army has said it is prepared to defend against any attack by India, and would respond with "full force" if that happens, a spokesman said

Imran Khan okays military response

Al Jazeera News :The Pakistani government has authorised its military to "respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure" by neighbouring India, as tensions soar between the nuclear-armed rivals.India

US threatens new sanctions on Venezuela if aid convoys blocked

Reuters, Washington :The US government could announce new sanctions to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as early as next week unless his military defies orders to block convoys of humanitarian