Brazil failed to get their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign off to a perfect start as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a determined Switzerland on Sunday.With Neymar and Philippe Coutinho in their ranks, Brazil obviously had an edge over their opponents. However, an enterprising Swiss refused to be intimidated as they deny the five-time champions a win.Coutinho 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.Brazil 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.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGEDefending champions Germany shockedThe biggest upset of the ongoing World Cup so far took place on Sunday as defending champions Germany lost 1-0 to Mexico in their campaign opener.Germany had won every opening game at major tournaments since Joachim Low took over as coach in 2006. But Juan Carlos Osorio’s side had other ideas, however, holding their own against the favourites’ fearsome but slowing midfield and finding space at the back and seeking to end 33 years without a win against Germany. After wasting a handful of first-half chances while living dangerously in their own half, Hirving Lozano’s 35th-minute strike on the break proved just reward.advertisementWow! #MEX stun the #WorldCup champions in Moscow! #GERMEX 0-1 pic.twitter.com/XOtAWcKD8UFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018When German centre back Mats Hummels lost possession deep in the Mexican half, Javier Hernandez was released through the middle. He outpaced Jerome Boateng and with a less than perfect pass found Lozano, who controlled the ball, cut inside Mesut Ozil, held off a charging Toni Kroos and slotted coolly past Manuel Neuer.At the other end, Guillermo Ochoa tipped a blistering Kroos free kick on to the bar minutes later, in what was to prove the Germans’ closest effort of a match in Moscow in which they had more than 60 percent possession but could not make it count.Germany pressed in the second half but struggled to find the target as Osorio beefed up his defences to hang on, pulling off Lozano with a quarter of an hour left and sending in 39-year-old Rafael Marquez at the back to become the third man ever to play in five World Cups.A historic day for @RafaMarquezMX #GERMEX pic.twitter.com/obAv8EW9BoFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018Germany’s historic loss in numbersIt was Mexico’s only second-ever win over the European giants. It was also the second defeat in an opening match at the World Cup finals for Germany. The first came against Algeria in 1982 – when the Germans still managed to reach the finalIt was the second successive World Cup that the champions were beaten in their opening match after Spain were thrashed 5-1 by the Netherlands in Brazil four years agoBrazil, in 2006, are the only reigning champions in the last five editions of the World Cup to win their opening match.Serbia start campaign with winCaptain Aleksandar Kolarov curled home a superb free-kick as they got their World Cup Group E campaign up and running with a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica.With Costa Rica proving a tough nut to crack, Kolarov stepped up to bury a 25-metre effort from wide on the right, lighting up an otherwise tight game in the southern Russian city of Samara.| Aleksandar Kolarov after winning the @Budweiser #ManoftheMatch #WorldCup #CRCSRBKeep watching the clip, you’ll catch his great goal! pic.twitter.com/6nkqSGb0crFIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018Serbia had dominated against a Costa Rica side who had rarely threatened after a bright start, but chances were thin on the ground until Kolarov made the breakthrough in the 56th minute.Things heated up a little in dying minutes of Serbia-Costa Rica matchThings heated up a little towards the end of the match as Matic and Costa Rica manager were involved in a heated exchange. As the ball went out of play in the extra time, Costa Rica manager Oscar Ramirez picked it up to obstruct Serbia’s Nemanja Matic from taking a quick throw. The incident led to a verbal exchange between the two individuals as other players got involved.advertisementThe scene soon turned ugly with players resorting to pushing and shoving. The referees had to then get involved to break up the obvious commotion and delay to the proceedings.
Haryana sports minister Anil Vij on Saturday suggested Team India should not boycott World Cup match against Pakistan in England. Speaking to Mail Today, Vij said that refusing to play would only benefit Pakistan, who would receive a boost in their chances of reaching the knockout rounds.Following the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, which claimed the lives of at least 42 soldiers, there has been increasing clamour for India to sever all ties with Pakistan, including on the cricket field.Ex-players like Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin have called for India to boycott their World Cup fixture against Pakistan. However, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar want the country to play.The senior BJP leader and Haryana minister Vij, too, echoed Gavaskar and Tendulkar’s views.”See, India should not play the bilateral series with Pakistan or any series between the two. But ICC World Cup is a multinational event and India should play, no matter what country they face. Why should we back out? India should play and thrash Pakistan completely in the major event,” the minister said.”But yes, I would also want say that the matter will be decided later by the Indian government and the board (BCCI),” he added.The bilateral cricketing ties between the two countries have already been suspended since 2012 and the teams last played a full series in 2007.Last week, the International Cricket Council (ICC) assured the BCCI that if need arises, it will uplift the security based on advice of relevant agencies to address India’s concerns during the World Cup.advertisementAt the start of the ICC’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting in Dubai, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri expressed India’s concerns about the security of its players in the mega event which is scheduled to start May 30.”On behalf of the BCCI, Rahul Johri raised concerns for the safety and security of the Indian team, match officials and the Indian Fans, at the CEC Meeting,” said a senior BCCI official.Also Watch: