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World Cup 2018: Lackluster Brazil held to 1-1 draw by Switzerland

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first_imgBrazil on Sunday became another big team which failed to win their opening game in the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup.A second-half header from Steven Zuber cancelled out a sensational early goal from Philippe Coutinho as Switzerland and Brazil drew 1-1 in a tight Group E World Cup opener.The five-times world champions took a deserved lead midway through the first half in the Group E game when Coutinho’s irresistible long-distance shot cannoned in off the far post, but Tite’s side, who had looked so impressive in the tournament build-up, failed to build on their advantage.The highly organised Swiss hit back early in the second period from one of their few chances as Brazil’s Casemiro and Miranda switched off and the unmarked Steven Zuber barely had to leave his feet to nod in Xherdan Shaqiri’s whipped corner.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP – DAY 4 UPDATESBrazil went all out in pursuit of a winner and came agonisingly close to finding it but had to settle for a point and joined fellow tournament favourites Germany, Spain and Argentina in failing to win their first game.Neymar’s flamboyant blond ‘spaghetti’ haircut certainly caught the eye although he only gave glimpses of the spectacular dribbles and plays he is renowned for and which led Paris St Germain to shell out 222 million euros for.Instead, Brazil’s second most expensive player, Coutinho, pulled Tite’s side’s strings, constantly finding right winger Willian and drifting striker Gabriel Jesus with sweeping passes although Switzerland managed to deal with the threat.advertisementFIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGEThey foolishly offered him the chance to demonstrate his most spectacular quality, however, when a cross from Marcelo was cleared into the path of the Barcelona midfielder, who wrapped his right foot around the ball and delivered an irresistible finish to break the deadlock in the 20th minute.The whirlwind finish delighted the Rostov Arena, where yellow-shirted Brazil fans vastly outnumbered the red of the Swiss, although Tite’s side failed to build further momentum, as Neymar was frequently stopped in his tracks by tactical fouls from Vladimir Petkovic’s side.The PSG forward, who was making only his second start since a metatarsal injury ended his season in February, did not look as if he had fully recovered, as his coach had warned on the eve of the game by admitting his side’s talisman was “not 100 percent”.Still, Brazil always looked in control until they ceded a corner and Zuber took full advantage of their collective lapse of concentration.They made a far bigger effort than the Swiss to find a second goal and were not far from finding it.Coutinho and Miranda each lashed wide from inside the area while Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino were denied by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Australia not playing the Australian way, ready to help: Shane Warne

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first_imgWith Cricket Australia “in disarray,” Shane Warne has offered to help the Baggy Greens to help them come out of their horror run.Australian cricket has been in tatters since Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned over the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier in the year. Since the nightmarish tour, Australia have continued their slide, losing a Test series against Pakistan despite a strong performance in the first match.Besides, Australia have lost seven successive ODIs – their longest losing streak in the format. On Friday, Australia were bowled out for 231 against South Africa in the second ODI. The Proteas chase was yet to get underway.Warne, regarded as the best leg-spinner to play the game and two-time World Cup winner, put his hand up to help revive Australian cricket and reckoned Cricket Australia should look at other former cricketers to help the beleaguered national team.Also read – Shane Warne reveals how ‘jealous people’ tried to turn him against Sachin Tendulkar”In the words of Donald Trump, let’s make cricket great again,” Warne said in a column for Melbourne’s Herald Sun.”Cricket Australia is in disarray — fact. CA has lost control and sight of what it was trying to achieve, to make cricket Australia’s favourite sport.Also read – Disciplining Jadeja, busting Kaif’s ego: Shane Warne recalls stint at Rajasthan Royals”That was its slogan and it was right but it has lost its way and thankfully heads are starting to roll.””I put my hand up to (outgoing team performance boss) Pat Howard a few times, told him I was available if they needed me,” Warne said. “I’ve always been happy to get involved in any role if Cricket Australia thought I could help the team. I’m sure all the ex-players would be the same.”advertisementAlso read – Shane Warne became Chelsea fan for life after encounter with knife-wielding supporter”We’ve got a lot of spinners coming through who I’ve helped in an informal role. And I’m more than happy to help in a formal basis if required,” he said. “Why not ask Glenn McGrath, offer him a contract to help with the fast bowlers.”We are not playing the Australian way at the moment, at any level.”last_img read more