Pressure got to us against Switzerland: Brazil coach

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia), June 18 (IANS) Brazil football team coach Tite thought the pressure had got to his players after watching his side kick off their 2018 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland here.

Brazil travelled to Russia after a triumphant set of results in their warm-up matches but were disappointing in their Group E opener on Sunday as a very solid Swiss side showed why they are currently sixth in the FIFA rankings, reports Xinhua news agency.

Philippe Coutinho scored a stunning goal after 20 minutes but Steven Zuber’s header five minutes after half time earned the Swiss a draw as Brazil struggled for fluidity, especially after the break.

“There was a lot of pressure and it was translated into too much speed in our last move and that means you are not precise,” he said in his post-game press conference.

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“We had 20 shots, but most of them were off target, if we had more focus, we could have worked their goalkeeper more,” he said.

“The team was looking to move the ball and to work out rivals, but this will serve as a lesson, we have to be a bit cooler and more precise,” said Tite.

The coach didn’t want to criticise the referee after Gabriel Jesus went down in the Swiss area in the second half, but he did say he thought Zuber had pushed defender Joao Miranda prior to the equalizer.

“You should not pressure the referee; there is a process and a system in place, there are people responsible and you have to be fair, but the push on Miranda was very clear: perhaps you could interpret the penalty appeal, but the Miranda moment looked very clear,” he said.

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Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic highlighted the personality his side had shown in coming back from behind to earn a draw against one of the favourites for the title.

“I am proud of my team, they never gave up and when we were able to go forward, we did very well, and I think it is an excellent start for the next games in the group stage,” he said.

Petkovic told the press he had told his players to “keep calm and believe in ourselves… I am proud of the way my team played and against a good rival we had to be disciplined as a side”.

The Swiss boss pointed out that perhaps the result is not as big a surprise as some may think: “I think we get a lack of recognition. We have only lost one of our last 5 games and we have showed we can react and that the team believes itself and can get results.”

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–IANS

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