Switzerland’s Steven Zuber, center, heads for the ball to score during the group E match between Brazil and Switzerland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Steven Zuber’s header cancelled out Philippe Coutinho’s first half screamer to earn Switzerland a 1-1 draw against tournament favourites Brazil at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don.

Coutinho’s long-range strike gave Brazil the lead, before Steven Zuber headed home from a corner early in the second half to earn Switzerland a point.

Brazil controlled possession in the early stages and could have taken the lead after 12 minutes, when Paulinho’s close range effort was tipped wide by Yann Sommer.

It was his Barcelona teammate, Coutinho, who provided the breakthrough eight minutes later with a trademark curling shot from 25 yards, which went in off the post.

The Swiss saw more of the ball after the goal but struggled to create chances, as Brazil went into half-time leading 1-0 and looking fairly comfortable.

Five minutes into the second period, however, Switzerland were level when Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner picked out Steven Zuber, who headed past Alisson from five yards out.

Some lax Brazilian marking allowed Zuber the freedom of the six-yard box and despite appeals for a push on Miranda, the goal stood after a VAR check.

Brazil pushed hard in the closing stages and had two great chances to snatch a winner.

Substitute Roberto Firmino’s header was saved by Sommer before Miranda fired a shot inches wide in stoppage time.

The result means it is the first time Brazil have failed to win their opening World Cup match since 1978, while Switzerland stretch their unbeaten opening game run to five World Cups.

Both sides now trail Serbia, who beat Costa Rica 1-0 in Sunday’s earlier Group E match.

The next Group E fixtures take place on Friday June 22, when Brazil take on Costa Rica and Switzerland face Serbia.