Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russia.
The five-time champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday, a few hours after four-time champion Germany was beaten by Mexico 1-0.
Philippe Coutinho, who was making his World Cup debut, gave Brazil the lead in the 20th minute with a volley that bounced in off the right post. Steven Zuber then headed in the equalizer in the 50th. Mexican referee Cesar Ramos dismissed complaints that Zuber had shoved defender Miranda before getting to the corner from Xherdan Shaqiri.
“I was pushed out of the way. There is video of what happened and the referee could have seen it. But it didn’t happen,” Miranda said. “We got a draw but this is only the beginning for us. We knew this game wasn’t going to be easy.”
Ramos also ignored a penalty claim late in the second half when Gabriel Jesus was wrestled to the ground by Switzerland defender Manuel Akanji.
Swiss players ended up with three yellow cards, and 10 of the 14 fouls they committed were on Brazil forward Neymar.
Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic described the incident against Miranda as an “ordinary challenge.” He also dismissed charges that Neymar had been treated harshly.
“Of course, neutralizing Neymar was a key ingredient of our game,” he added.
Switzerland dominated the midfield for long spells against a Brazil team that had been keen to start with a win after its disastrous exit as host in 2014.
“I am proud of their determination,” Petkovic said of his team. “The first 40 minutes were tough for us, and at halftime I told the players to stay cool and press forward. They did, and it worked.”
Brazil has won 17 of its 22 matches since Tite took over as coach in 2016. But they couldn’t get another one in front of a very Brazil-friendly crowd at the Rostov Arena.