June 17, 2018 / 9:08 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer-Swiss coach wants more recognition after Brazil draw

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, June 17 (Reuters) - Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said his team deserved more recognition after they held five-times champions Brazil to a 1-1 draw in their opening World Cup match on Sunday.

“I hope they start looking up and taking notice of us and taking us seriously,” said Petkovic, whose side held Spain to the same score in a warm-up friendly.

“Sometimes, there is a lack of recognition and that is a pity.

“Playing against Brazil and Spain, we demonstrated we could react, that this team always believes in itself and can get results. We will continue to play with this consistency.”

Switzerland have lost only one out of 12 competitive matches since Euro 2016 - a World Cup qualifier away to Portugal.

“I hoped that we would do what we didn’t against Portugal, that we would play our game and try to impose our way of playing,” he said.

“I think the team has shown great determination and I’m very, very happy.”

“In the first half we encountered some difficulties, we were not able to put into practice what we wanted, and we invited the opponent to be dangerous,” he said.

“In the second half, I told them to remain calm, focused, believe in ourselves and try and push higher up on the pitch and create possibilities and opportunities to score, and that’s what we did.”

Switzerland now face Serbia and then Costa Rica in Group E after taking a valuable point off the Brazilians.

Petkovic also said there was nothing wrong with Steven Zuber’s equaliser on Sunday despite Brazilian claims that a defender was pushed.

“He looked to create space and create opportunity, and I think the opposing defence’s players were not well-positioned,” he said.

“I am very proud and pleased with the way in which my team played against such good opponents.” (Writing by Brian Homewood in Moscow; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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