Monday 16 July 2018

Tite frustrated by Switzerland goal as Brazil draw World Cup opener

The Brazil boss claims there was a clear foul in the build-up to the equaliser.

Steven Zuber, centre, heads Switzerland level against Brazil (Darko Vojinovic/AP)
Steven Zuber, centre, heads Switzerland level against Brazil (Darko Vojinovic/AP)

By Press Association Sport Staff

Brazil coach Tite was convinced Switzerland’s equaliser should have been ruled out for a foul as the five-time World Cup winners were held to a 1-1 draw in their Group E opener.

Swiss midfielder Steven Zuber headed his side level five minutes into the second half, leaving the Brazilians protesting in vain amid claims he had pushed defender Miranda as he climbed to meet Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner.

The South Americans also saw appeals for a penalty waved away after Gabriel Jesus had gone down under Manuel Akanji’s challenge to spark yet another debate over the VAR system.

I'm just going to say this once: the Miranda moment was very clear. It's a very clear play, it's very, very clear. Brazil coach Tite

Asked about the two incidents at his post-match press conference, Tite said: “I’d like to answer another question in terms of the performance, otherwise it sounds like an excuse for the draw, but I’m not going to run away from this question.

“I’m just going to say this once: the Miranda moment was very clear. It’s a very clear play, it’s very, very clear. The second play, yes the penalty you could interpret, but the first one, you can’t discuss. You have to be fair.”

However, Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic was adamant that Mexican referee Cesar Ramos and his team had got it right.

Petkovic said: “We have the VAR and the VAR should provide answers. I just looked briefly at our goal – it was a regular goal, that was a regular duel.

“You have to create space in order to have an opportunity and the opponent’s defensive players were not really well positioned. It wasn’t a foul.”

Brazil had got off to the perfect start when Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho curled home a superb 20th-minute opener, but the Swiss responded with a display of real character and got their reward, despite a series of late scares, courtesy of Zuber’s header.

Tite admitted his team had not been precise enough with the chances they had created and were made to pay for it.

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Brazil coach Tite was left disappointed after his side was held to a draw by Switzerland (Andrew Medichini/AP)

He said: “We had 20 attempts, but too many balls off-target. If we were a bit more concentrated, we could have made the goalkeeper work a little more given the number of attempts we had. We have to be cooler, a little more precise.

“Of course my expectation was a victory, I wanted to win, of course. Of course I’m not happy with the result.”

By contrast, Petkovic was delighted with the battling qualities his men displayed to ensure they go into Friday’s clash with early group leaders Serbia with a point already banked.

He said: “The opponent was better and had more scoring opportunities, but I am proud of my team, the way they presented themselves.

“They didn’t give up, went the full 90 minutes, never gave up on themselves and when we were able to play forward and press high up, we did it very well indeed.

“It’s an excellent start ahead of the next couple of matches in this group stage.”

Press Association

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