Brazil's quest for a sixth World Cup is off to a bit of a disappointing start.
Philippe Coutinho scored on a gorgeous rocket, but Steven Zuber's second-half header brought Switzerland level, and the two sides played to a 1-1 draw in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in Sunday's Group E opener.
Brazil mounted attack after attack in the game's waning stages, but Yann Sommer was tremendous in goal, and an organized Swiss defense–one that was overly physical with Neymar to the tune of committing 10 fouls on the superstar–saw out the result that netted each side a point.
Switzerland came up with the first chance of the game, with Shaqiri supplying a cross for Blerim Dzemaili in the fourth minute, though it was slightly behind the veteran, and as he reached back to volley it, he directed it high over the bar.
Brazil earned its first chance in the 12th minute, coming inches away from taking the lead. Coutinho and Neymar combined on the left channel, with the latter sending in a cross for Paulinho. His redirect trickled just wide of the far post, keeping it 0-0.
Brazil got its lead in the 20th minute in sensational fashion. A clearance attempt fell to Coutinho just outside of the box, and he sent a curling missle into the far upper 90 to give the Seleção a 1-0 lead.
Just before halftime, Brazil had a chance to double its lead after Marcelo won a corner kick, with Thiago Silva's glancing header flying just over the crossbar.
Switzerland netted its equalizer five minutes into the second half off a corner kick. It was all rather straightforward, with Zuber beating Miranda to the ball and heading home from the doorstep to make it 1-1 in the 50th minute. Brazil players called for VAR to be used, as Zuber appeared to push off Miranda to create space to win the header, but play continued and the goal stood.
The equalizer woke Brazil up, and seven minutes later Coutinho had a pair of chances at the edge of the box blocked, before Neymar had a shot redirected into the side netting on the same sequence.
In the 73rd minute, Gabriel Jesus thought he'd won a penalty. The Brazilian forward received the ball and took an expert turn toward goal, when he appeared to be hugged and tripped by Manuel Akanji. No call was made, though, nor was there an appeal by VAR to take a closer look.
Brazil continued to push for the winner, and it nearly came from Neymar in the 88th minute. Willian sent in a great cross from the right, and Neymar met it in the center of the box, but directed it right into the waiting arms of Sommer.
Sommer came up big again two minutes later off a Brazil free kick. Neymar sent in a great ball that found substitute Roberto Firmino, and his bouncing header was parried by Sommer, just out of the reach of Fernandinho, who was waiting for the rebound.
A minute later, Miranda had a golden chance off a cleared corner kick, hooking his chance from 16 yards just wide of the left post.
Here were the lineups for both sides:
Here are the rosters for both nations:
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Man City), Cassio (Corinthians)
Defenders: Danilo (Man City), Fagner (Corinthians), Thiago Silva (PSG), Miranda (Inter), Marquinhos (PSG), Pedro Geromel (Gremio), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Paulinho (Barcelona), Fernandinho (Man City), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Fred (Shakhtar), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Neymar (PSG), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Jesus (Man City), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Taison (Shakhtar)
Goalkeepers: Roman Burki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (RB Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Lang (FC Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna)
Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Monchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica)
Manager: Vladimir Petkovic