But Vladimir Petkovic's men were back on terms within five minutes of the restart, much to the annoyance of the Brazilians.
They foolishly offered him the chance to demonstrate his most spectacular quality, however, when a cross from Marcelo was cleared into the path of the Barcelona midfielder, who wrapped his right foot around the ball and delivered an irresistible finish to break the deadlock in the 20th minute.
They made a far bigger effort than the Swiss to find a second goal and were not far from finding it. He headed home, although Brazil were aggrieved as the Swiss scorer had seemingly pushed his marker Miranda in the back.
Despite Neymar's best efforts, Brazil lacked a spark in the final third until the closing stages where they should have bagged a victor.
Belmont Stakes 2018 Payout: Triple Crown Field Times and Prize-Money Earnings
He became the 13th Triple Crown victor of all time and the second horse to accomplish the feat since 1978. After a handful of agonizing Triple Crown misses, he broke through with Pharoah, solidifying his legacy.
It's not enough for Brazil to simply win games at the World Cup.
Coutinho's ability to score from range adds another attacking dimension to Tite's team, particularly when Brazil are finding it hard to break down defensively organized teams.
As Brazil pressed forward early in the first half Coutinho picked up a loose ball at the edge of the 18-yard box and put his shot out of reach of Switzerland's goalkeeper Yann Sommer and in off the far post.
Many expect Brazil to claim the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and their quest to do just that begins Sunday.
"At this stage of a World Cup you have to take advantage of a goal and see that your opponents are taking risks and you need to have faster transitions". At times, he linked encouragingly with Neymar, which bodes well for the remainder of the tournament.
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