Five-time FIFA World Cup winners Brazil played their first game on Sunday against Switzerland in a Group E clash. The game had an incredible tempo, with the scoreline
Switzerland came off the block extremely positive. They must have seen how the result in the match that was going on before them where Mexico shocked the entire footballing world by defeating Germany. They must have thought that is the way to go and not be intimidated by the big teams.
But at the seven minutes mark, Brazil took over the control of the game and dictated the play. Philippe Coutinho was at his best and was making passes to his teammates at will. His vision was dissecting the defence and Sommer was made to make saves or see the ball going wide of his goalpost.
The Barcelona man appeared to be fired up. He seemed to have been playing with a purpose. In the 20th minute, he curled one from outside the box and dispatched it in the top corner. An unbelievable goal from the Brazilian showcasing how effective their players are, and how easily they can create moments of magic.
The Swiss tried to respond but it had already become a mammoth task. A side such as their opponents, wouldn’t give up the lead they have taken and will attack with more intent.
Brazil continued their wave after wave of attacks. In the 32nd minute, Gabriel Jesus found himself unmarked in the air only for him to miss the goal by a distance. The 21-year-old has been favoured over Roberto Firmino and needs to make a statement for his selection.
Switzerland wasn’t panicking as it was expected of them, but instilling their gameplan patiently. They were getting closer and closer to Alisson Becker’s goal by the minute, which sent warning signs to the Brazilian management. They needed to make some changes to retain the lead or else Switzerland would’ve had swarmed them with incisive passing.
The first half came at a close with the momentum with the team who was down by a goal.
The second half started in a similar fashion for Switzerland to get back in the game. Xherdhan Shaqiri swung one corner in at the 50th minute in and it was Steven Zuber who leapt the highest to head it home. Their first shot on target was a goal. The game was well and truly on.
Selecaos needed to respond or else they were going to be outplayed by their European opponents. They tried their best to get into the game but Switzerland showed resolute defence.
Controversy struck the match when Gabriel Jesus was denied a penalty after he was literally thrown in the box. The keeper wasn’t having any of it. He didn’t even venture into considering the option of using the VAR (Video Assistant Referee). His vision was impaired by the Swiss players, but a consideration of this magnitude should’ve taken place.
The minutes chipped away, and so did the hopes of a Brazil win. If the score stayed level, it would be a win for Switzerland as it would mean that their gameplan is effective and they can hang with the big boys when the going gets tough.
It was unerring to see that Brazilian players looked blank and out of ideas. They had tried whatever they can, but it was to no avail. The game ended with no further action, and an interesting story to unfold in the qualifying race for Round of 16 in Group E.
This is the first time in 40 years Brazil has failed to win the first game of the World Cup.