X

Need to be more precise, says Tite

Rostov-on-Don: After failing to live up to pre-tournament hype with a disappointing 1-1 draw in their World Cup opener against Switzerland, Brazil need to quickly find a key to unlock opponents happy to sit back and defend for most of the game.

Coach Tite said his side suffered from anxiety during the game, the first time Brazil have not won a World Cup opener since 1978, urging them to keep their heads when they got into shooting positions.

"We need to stay cool when we shoot and be more precise," he told reporters.

A lot of the focus after the game was on whether Brazil defender Joao Miranda had been fouled by Steven Zuber when he headed in Switzerland's 50th minute equaliser, while a decision to deny Gabriel Jesus a penalty was also heavily scrutinised.

An equally big problem for Brazil was coping with frequent tactical fouls meted out by the Swiss, particularly on Neymar, which interrupted their attempts to create attacks.

Miranda said the squad were not too concerned by their underwhelming start, however, pointing out that his side were in good company after Germany lost to Mexico and Argentina and Spain were held to draws in their first games.

"The draw will not shake us, some good teams have started the tournament losing, we're focused on our next game, where I'm sure we will play well and go all out for the win," he said.

Striker Jesus said the side did not need to change too much for their next game.

"We need to play in the same way against Costa Rica, we played well, especially considering it was our first game, but unfortunately we couldn't win. Life goes on. We drew, we didn't lose," the Manchester City forward said.

"Now we must keep our heads down, as we want to win our next game."

AgenciesSwitzerland were never regarded as one of the pre-tournament World Cup favourites but after they thwarted heavyweights Brazil with a gutsy 1-1 draw in their Group E opener on Sunday, they could be dreaming of a deep run in Russia.

Brazil took the lead thanks to a stunning Philippe Countinho first half strike but the Swiss refused to panic and equalised five minutes after the break when Steven Zuber rose high to head home from a corner.

Some of that fearlessness could be traced back to 2009, when the Swiss beat Brazil 1-0 on the way to becoming under-17 world champions with a side that contained Granit Xhaka, Ricardo Rodriguez and Haris Seferovic from the current senior squad.

The Brazil defeated in that quarter-final included Alisson, Casemiro, Coutinho and Neymar with all seven players from that clash featuring in Sunday's game.

"I hope that people will take notice of us and take us seriously, sometimes there's a lack of recognition and that's a pity because we played very well," Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic told reporters.

"Playing against Spain (a 1-1 draw in a World Cup warmup) and Brazil the way we did, we showed we could react and demonstrate that this team can believe in themselves. We will continue to play with that consistency."

Next up for Switzerland is a crucial tie against group leaders Serbia, who beat Costa Rica in their opener on Sunday.

"We're expecting a very tough game," midfielder Valon Behrami said.

"The Serbs are a great team with players who have been together for a couple of years already. We must be wary that they are very strong."

Eight years ago in South Africa, Switzerland beat eventual champions Spain in their World Cup opener but failed to advance to the knockout rounds.

According to Behrami, the first Swiss player to feature in four World Cups, the outcome will be different this time.

"No, with this team, it will not be like eight years ago," he said.

Behrami, who kept Brazil talisman Neymar quiet on Sunday, will, however, have to assess his fitness after being replaced in the second half because of a groin issue.

"I think I came off at the right time but I will have to monitor the situation," he said.

Opinion

Back to top icon