Switzerland want to be taken seriously after thwarting Brazil


Rostov-on-Don: Brazil's bid for a sixth World Cup got off to a slow start as Switzerland withstood an early onslaught to snatch a 1-1 draw in Rostov-on-Don on Sunday.

Neymar played the full 96 minutes at the Rostov Arena as Brazil stalled in their World Cup opener after a second-half header from Switzerland winger Steven Zuber cancelled out a stunning first-half strike from Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Football fans on Sunday were shocked when Brazil struggled to win their opening match against Switzerland in a Group E game and settled for a draw.

Switzerland, No. 6 in the world, was considered Brazil's toughest opponent in Group E.

Before the setback, Neymar was enjoying his World Cup debut, having bagged four goals across five matches, which surprisingly doesn't put him that far away from being one of Brazil's top ten most prolific scorers at the quadrennial event.

Brazil's doctor Rodrigo Lasmar also insisted that the forward will be fit enough to play in their second game against Costa Rica on Friday.

Liverpool's No.9 was introduced 12 minutes from time at the Rostov Arena as Selecao coach Tite sought a late victor after Steven Zuber had equalised Philippe Coutinho's opener.

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"When you talk about national squad and the World Cup, it's obvious that, if we want to get through it, we'll have to get the points - and we have to get it at the next games".

The match was full of fouls - 30 in total - 10 of which were directed at Brazil's superstar striker Neymar Jr. "I am proud of the way my team played and against a good rival we had to be disciplined as a side".

The only nation to compete in every World Cup, Brazil has won five of the 20 championships, more than any other team.

"We have not travelled for the first game".

"I'm very glad to score but what was important was our effort to win and what we did as a team is what counts", Coutinho said. Team doctors also dismissed any significant problem with Neymar, who was out for about three months earlier this year because of a foot injury. But after Switzerland tied the game, the 26-year-old did not demonstrate the effort to help his country reach the win they were looking for.

"It has nothing to do with positioning", Tite said of the goal, defending his side from accusations of poor marking for the corner.

Mentally the Brazilians need to flush the 7-1 blowout loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinal out of their minds and come in fresh to start a new run.