June 18, 2018 / 10:33 AM / 8 months ago

Brazil's class of 2018 on verge of matching 1970s winless run

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group E - Brazil vs Switzerland - Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don, Russia - June 17, 2018 Switzerland's Steven Zuber scores their first goal REUTERS/Marko Djurica

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Brazil’s draw with Switzerland has left them one game away from equalling their longest winless streak in the World Cup - a run of four matches without victory spanning the 1974 and 1978 tournaments.

Brazil lost their last two games at home in 2014, a 7-1 hammering by Germany in the semi-final followed by a 3-0 defeat by the Netherlands in the third-place playoff game.

After drawing 1-1 with the Swiss in their Group E opener, Brazil will have to beat Costa Rica on Friday if they want to avoid matching the 1970s barren run.

In 1974, the South Americans were beaten 2-0 by the Netherlands and 1-0 by Poland in successive matches.

That winless run continued in 1978 when they drew their first two games, 1-1 with Sweden and 0-0 with Spain.

They broke the streak with a 1-0 win over Austria but failed to win the tournament that year.

Brazil, who have won 17 of their 22 games under coach Tite, hope they can live up to their favourites billing when they face Costa Rica.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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