Brazil held by plucky Switzerland

Brazil held by plucky Switzerland

Steven Zuber's thumping header secured a surprising draw for Switzerland in their opening Group E game against the World Cup favourites Brazil.

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

It's not enough for Brazil to simply win games at the World Cup. Switzerland won't be a breeze, even if its No. 6 position in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings is a touch lofty.

The five-time winners failed to extend their lead and were punished early in the second half when Steven Zuber lost his marker at a corner and equalised - a goal that might have opened the game up had Brazil been at their best.

Despite enjoying 55 percent ball possession, with 21 shots on goal and seven on target, plus seven corner kicks, Brazil could not breakdown a resilient Swiss defence. With Granit Xhaka in the middle and Breel Embolo and Xherdan Shaqiri in the attack, the sixth-ranked team in the world will look to pile more World Cup misery onto its opponent.

Costa Rica and Serbia are the other teams in Group E.

The five-time champions appear to have put behind them the 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals four years ago, impressing as they eased through qualifying for Russian Federation, finishing top of the South American standings, with the most goals scored and fewest conceded.

Brazil got its lead in the 20th minute in sensational fashion.

From then on, it was all Brazil with Switzerland defending with 10 behind the ball, trying to keep the game level.

Brazil had chances to win it late on, but goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved headers by Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino, and Miranda fired a great chance wide.

It's a fantastic, golden point for Switzerland.

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