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What a result for the Swiss, whose fans let out a roar at the final whistle. What a turn of results. How many people predicted that Germany and Brazil would not go on to win their respective games? Brazil lost the plot in the second half and looked like a desperate outfit. Neymar had a modest outing and was marked out superbly by the well-drilled Swiss midfield. What a day it has been! Argentina, Germany and Brazil are yet to get off the mark. Let that sink in.
FULL-TIME: BRAZIL 1-1 SWITZERLAND
90+5’ What a save from Schar! A shot came in from Firminho but the Swiss defender put a foot in on time to deflect the ball out for a corner. That was going in.
90+4’ Big moment in the game as Neymar wins a free-kick 30 yards from goal. The persistent fouls from the Swiss continue.
90+1’ MORE CHANCES. This time, Miranda hits one from the edge of the area, trying to place the ball to the corner. His effort went marginally wide of the post. Sommer was rooted to the spot as he saw the ball roll away on his right.
90’ CHANCE! Sommer thwarts another effort. It was Firminho who headed the ball goalwards. Miranda had a chance from the rebound but from close range, he could not control it.
88’ Shaqiri, who has been relentless with his running gives the Brazilian defence a worry or two. He volleys the ball close to the corner flag.
87’ Another attempt from Neymar. This time with a header but it was harmless and straight into Sommer’s hands. Willian delivered an excellent cross from the right wing.
84’ Neymar shows some spark with a surging run and finds Firminho with a sideways pass. It was too far for the substitute.
81’ Firminho makes an impact after Akanji slips and a deflection puts the Brazilian on his way into the box. The Liverpool man’s shot from a tight angle on the right was harmless and went over the bar.
Seferovic, who has had a quiet game, makes way for Embolo, one of Switzerland’s bright young prospects.
Jesus’s game comes to an end. In comes Firminho, Brazil’s last change.
77’ Neymar also takes a shot after getting a little bit of space in the middle. That was never going to harm Sommer, who pouches it with ease. The effort lacked power.
76’ Desperation creeping into Brazil as Fernandinho has a wild strike from 35 yards out. The ball goes into orbit.
72’ Gabriel Jesus goes down after running into Akanji. The referee has a word with the Brazilian forward. Replays shows that it was a blatant dive.
70’ Behrami goes off to a thunderous ovation from the Swiss fans. In comes Zakaria.
69’ CLOSE! Coutinho should have scored there. Inside the box on the left, he did well to control the ball with his chest. The resulting shot, though, went well wide of the goal.
67’ Yellow Card – Behrami goes into the book after yet another foul on Neymar, who is clearly looking off the paces in this game.
After Casemiro came off to give way for Fernandinho, Paulinho is also taken off. Renato Agusto replaces him.
66’ Brazil had a good spell of possession. The patient build-up at the edge of the area bites the dust after Willian skies it to the top tier.
64’ Switzerland are looking confident on the ball but it’s advantage Brazil after Neymar wins a foul at the edge of the area. Schar goes into the book for pulling Neymar’s shirt.
61’ Brazil looking slightly ragged after the goal. Marcelo just played a terrible sideways pass that rolled out of play for a Swiss throw.
57’ Now, Neymar is limping. This was after the PSG forward took a shot at the near post. The ball took the deflection and hit the strike netting. Swiss see out the danger from the two corners that resulted.
55’ Behrami is back on the field and straightaway, he dispossess Neymar.
54’ Not good for Switzerland. Behrami, who has done a good job keeping Neymar quiet, has walked off the field clutching his hamstring. Let’s hope he recovers quickly.
Swiss score with what was their first attempt on target. Miranda completely lost his man at the corner and Zuber got a free header from three yards out. There was no chance Allison was going to stop that. Miranda and Neymar are complaining for a possible foul on Zuber during the corner.
49’ GOAL!! It’s all square. Zuber levels it with a thunderous header
46’ YELLOW CARD – clumsy challenge by Casemiro, who becomes the first Brazilian to go into the book. He clipped Dzemaili, who was on his way.
45’ Second half is underway and Dzemaili thumps one from the outside of the boot from 30 yards out. The ball goes harmlessly out of play.
Half-time: Brazil lead 1-0 at Rostov
Brazil have been solid, if not spectacular so far. Neymar has been largely subdued and has struggled with Behrami’s tight marking. Coutinho’s strike was a thing of beauty and the Swiss defence should have anticipated the former Liverpool man’s shooting prowess from distance. The team in red have matched up at times. Their defence has has been good with Asanji being the standout.
45+1’ Another close one from Brazil! Thiago Silva made an excellent run into the box from a corner but headed the ball only marginally over the bar. Good effort. Two minutes of stoppage time to be played.
43’ Scrappy play from both team in the last two minutes. Jesus was on his way after Casemiro put him through with a lovely through ball. Akanji, who has had a fine first half, muscles the Manchester City forward out. The attack breaks down in the Swiss box.
39’ Thiago Silva is hurt as Zuber, from the edge of the box, smashed one in his face. He is up on his feet in no time and soaks in the applause from the crowd.
37’ Switzerland create the first bit of threat as Seferovic finds himself one-on-one against Miranda. Brazil deal with it calmly. It looked risky from here but Allison was cool as ice with the Swiss forward pouncing on him in the box.
35’ Switzerland are looking bereft of options when they are on the ball. Rodriguez delivers a good ball aimed at Dzemaili, but the gritty Brazilians clear.
32’ The Swiss defence is showing signs of once again looking shaky. Brazil get a free-kick, which resulted in a corner. Jesus meets Neymar’s corner from the right but the ball missed both sets of players before the latter was called offside.
30’ We have the first yellow card of the game. Lichtsteiner makes one of the ugliest challenges we have seen so far, clutching Neymar’s face from behind. Cynical foul, clear yellow.
28’ Neymar’s runs have been off-colour so far. Once again, he is taken off the ball quickly trying to burst through the left flank.
25’ Brazil’s defence have been uncompromising and have retrieved the ball quickly. Clash of heads between Casimero and Schar. The Swiss defender needs treatment but is up on his feet now
22’ There is an air of calmness after Coutinho’s strike and the Brazilian fans are using their vocal chords to full effect.
Typical Coutinho. How could we ever rule him out to do something like this. Neymar from the left-wing passed the ball to Marcelo. The ball was deflected off a Swiss player and came straight to Coutinho. The Barcelona man, from 25 yards out, curled one to the top left corner, leaving a diving Sommer no chance, a peach of a strike and Brazil are up and away.
19’ GOAL! Forget the noodles for a while. Coutinho has just scored a screamer.
17’ Another sweeping move from Brazil but Sommer is quick to pouch it. Neymar made a lovely backheel to set Coutinho on his way. Jesus’s final ball was too close to the keeper, though.
15’ Neymar’s free-kick from 30 yards out hits the Swiss wall. Poor effort.
14’ Clash of the blond-haired men! Neymar gets in the ball in the centre of the pitch and Behrami clatters into him. Foul given and the Brazilian No 10 clutches his knees in anguish. There must a few prayers in Brazil.
11’ OHHHHH! Paulinho missed from a couple of yards out there. A fine move from Brazil that was started by a sweeping ball from skipper Marcelo. A couple of passes later, Paulinho was in front of goal. His flick tamely rolled wide of the post.
7’ Paulinho gets into the Swiss box after tricking the defenders with a clever burst of pace. The ball, though, runs out for a goal kick.
5’ Neymar is swarmed by red shirts as he gets the ball at his feet. The referee plays advantage during the Brazil buildup after Coutinho was fouled by the reckless Xhaka. Willian drilled the ball into the box but there was nobody to head it in. Lively start to the game.
3’ Dzemaili has the first attempt on goal. The ball goes high over the cross bar. The Swiss striker lost his balance as he lined up to take a shot.
1’ Switzerland have the ball and there is pressure straight away from the Brazilians. Willian gives away a foul. The ball quickly travels to the other end, where the Swiss are culpable of a foul. The Brazilian fans are in full volume.
The match is underway. There is a sea of gold in the stands at Rostov.
It is widely believed that Brazil scored the greatest team goal in World Cup history. Here’s more on that.
Also read: ‘Ghost’ of 7-1 Germany mauling still haunts Brazil, admits coach Tite
And remember, Switzerland are no pushovers. They are ranked sixth in the Fifa rankings.
Only twice in 21 editions have Brazil crashed to a defeat on their opening fixture. Form is with them in recent years, though, as they have registered wins on nine straight occasions.
Brazil on the verge of crashing to a hat-trick of World Cup losses. That has never happened in their history. After the humiliating 1-7 loss, the Netherlands beat the five-time champions 3-0 in the third place match.
Head-to-head: The two teams have played out eight games. Brazil have won three and lost two.
Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson, Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo, Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho, Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.
Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer, Lichtsteiner, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez, Behrami, Xhaka, Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber, Seferovic
Hello and Welcomes to the live updates of the Brazil vs Switzerland, Group E match at Rostov. It’s the moment that millions have been waiting for across the world. Five-time winners Brazil take to the field for the first time and all eyes are on their talisman Neymar.
The PSG striker plays his first World cup match since making a tearful exit following an injury in the quarter-finals in 2014 against Colombia. Brazil kick off their quest for redemption after that horror night in Belo Horizonte, where went on to suffer a humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany without him. Neymar is once again spearheading his country’s hopes.
The 26-year-old’s participation at the finals in Russia had been cast into doubt after he suffered a broken bone in his right foot in late February.
However, Neymar has shown few signs of rust since returning for Brazil, scoring in consecutive friendlies in the buildup to the finals. That could spell trouble for Switzerland as they take on Brazil in Group E on Sunday. Do not count out Vladmir Petkovic’s side. Who can forget their stunning upset win in 2010?
(With inputs from AFP)