Switzerland earned a 1-1 draw and unfavourable headlines as they nullified Brazilian superstar Neymar in their opening World Cup match.

Brazil is the only team to have competed at every World Cup, and they have won their last nine opening games. But after a promising start at Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, they fell away badly in the second half of the Group E game.

Neymar was out of sorts for most of the match but was fouled 10 times according to one tally — the first time one player has been fouled 10 times in a World Cup match since England's Alan Shearer in 1998 against Tunisia.

Neymar fouled, Brazil failed. Photo / Getty Images
Neymar fouled, Brazil failed. Photo / Getty Images

Valon Behrami paid closest attention to the superstar and received a yellow card in the second half for chopping him down. News.com reported this statistic under a photo of a tumbling Neymar and headline: The Ugly Game — Brutal image defines World Cup boilover.
CBSSports reckoned: Neymar roughed up, Swiss hold on for controversial, sloppy draw.


Neymar wasn't spared either, not only for football reasons. Goal.com described him as "spaghetti-head", for his latest hairstyle. He was mocked in a number of publications for his blonde, wispy look.

Back to the football.

Switzerland's well-organised defending held Brazil to a 1-1 draw in their World Cup opener, keeping Neymar and other attackers at bay for the most part.

Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring in the 20th minute, with a stylish volley that beat goalkeeper Yann Sommer, bouncing in off the right post. But coach Vladimir Petkovic's Swiss players kept their composure and dominated in midfield for long spells in the Group E match.

Switzerland midfielder Steven Zuber headed in the equaliser in the 50th. Mexican referee Cesar Ramos dismissed complaints that Zuber had shoved defender Miranda out of the way before meeting a corner from Xherdan Shaqiri.

Ramos also ignored a penalty claim late in the second half when Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus was wrestled to the ground by Manuel Akanji.

Petkovic kept his promise to frustrate Brazil, which was seeking redemption from its disastrous 2014 World Cup exit with a 7-1 semifinal defeat on home soil by Germany.