A second-half brace from centre-forward Richarlison gave Brazil a 2-0 victory after long struggles against a heroic Serbian defense as the two sides entered the World Cup in Doha on Thursday .
The Seleçao thus takes the lead in group G on goal difference, tied on points with Switzerland, victorious over Cameroon 1-0 at the start of the afternoon. Brazilians and Swiss will oppose Monday (5:00 p.m.) during the second day.
Neymar hit on one foot
In the Lusail stadium where the final will be played on December 18, Brazil immediately took the game on their own, with a very active Neymar and not sparing his defensive courts either, until his replacement at the 80th, apparently hit in one foot.
For an hour, the Serbian defense and its large sizes, remarkably placed in front of the excellent goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, however defeated the many opposing attempts.
Because Brazil very clearly dominated this meeting (24 shots to 4 over the whole match according to Fifa statistics) and largely deserved their victory.
In the first period, Tite’s team got three big scoring chances. The first in the 27th minute, but the giant Milinkovic-Savic emerged victoriously at the feet of Vinicius Jr, ideally launched by Thiago Silva, the Auriverde captain.
Then Raphinha in turn found himself alone against the Serbian goal after a one-two with Paqueta, but his too soft shot from the left was caught by the Torino goalkeeper (35th).
Six minutes later it was Vinicius, alerted by Casemiro, who seemed very close to opening the scoring by taking advantage of an error from Nikola Milenkovic, but the latter redeemed himself by returning to counter the shot of the Real Madrid striker (41st).
Superb but from Richarlison
The scenario repeated itself from the start of the second period and Raphinha, after stealing the ball from Nemanja Gudelj, was once again defeated by Milinkovic-Savic (46th). Neymar was offered a great opportunity with a whistled free kick from the ideal distance for a foul on himself, but his shot was deflected by the Serbian wall (49th).
After a strike from Alex Sandro on the bottom of the right post of the opposing goal, Brazil ended up finding the opening and the deliverance by their center forward Richarlison, who sent a ball pushed back into his feet by Milinkovic. -Savic on a strike from Vinicius Jr (63rd) launched by Neymar.
Obliged from then on to discover themselves, the Serbs managed to be dangerous, especially on corners, but exposed themselves to Brazilian counterattacks. And on one of them, the Tottenham striker offered himself a double and released his own from a sequence of left control-rotating right strikes (73rd). Splendid !
Brazil can be reassured by this introduction, facing an opponent who was already in his pool at the 2918 World Cup in Russia. Serbia, it will have to show more offensive going if it finally wishes to cross the course of the hens, after its failures in 2010 and 2018.