Brazil’s 20 years wait for another world cup victory began in this group G second match of the day against Serbia, a young country with their 3rd world cup appearance since independence.
Brazil has successfully won its last 7 games before this world cup and is hoping to continue its winning streak in the game. Serbia is yet to go past the first round in their world cup run.
The game was played with a 4-3-2-1 and 3-5-1-1 formation by Brazil and Serbia respectively. It ended with a 2 – 0 victory for Brazil.
The Serbians did a good job at defending and frustrating the samba boys in the 1st half with a streak of fouls. Strainja Pavlovic of Serbia got a yellow card for a bad foul in the 7th minute of the 1st half. Brazil had a total of 4 attempts at goal; a right-footed shot by Neymar was blocked in the 21st minute while that of Casemiro from outside the box was saved.
Another attempt from outside the box by Raphinha was saved in the 35th minute while Vinicius missed his in the 41st minute. The only attempt from Serbia was from Filip Mladenovic’s right-footed shot from a difficult angle in the 37th minute. Neymar led the Brazilian team in the midfield and won 5 free kicks in the first half. Almost every tackle had his name on it.
A Very Busy 2nd Half
It didn’t seem Brazil had so much in them in the first half against the backdrop of their lofty and skilful football pedigree. Still, the second half saw a different Brazilian team firing on all four cylinders and with several gears. Coach Tite’s team wowed the spectators and gave the Serbians abject misery as they struggled to make any meaningful statement in the second half of the game.
The 62nd minute marked the breaking point of the Serbian’s defense as Richarlison’s right-footed shot created the much-awaited goal. If anyone thought that was a fluke, he nets another in the 73rd minute this time with a jaw-dropping overhead kick. He had just had three touches of the ball in the entire time of play and has scored twice. The masterly crafted second goal is acclaimed as the best so far in the first round of the game.
Donning the number 9 jersey for Brazil, the number 1 ranked FIFA national team is quite huge but Richarlison proved worthy of it again having scored 9 goals in his last 7 pre-world cup games for Brazil. He was denied the possibility of a hat-trick as he was substituted in the 79th minute by Gabriel Jesus but that low pass assist from Vinicius in the 73rd minute helped him to equal Neymar’s record as the only Brazilian to score twice in his world cup debut.
Brazil dominated the entire 2nd half with 14 attempts at goal; 8 were sorely missed and 4 were saved. Serbia also did their best with 4 attempts, 2 of which were missed in the 69th and 70th minutes by Strahinja Pavlovic and Darko Lazovic respectively. For the rest of the half, Allisson was pretty much on recess for A Seleꞔão.
The world favourites would play their next match on Monday against Switzerland in what we expect to be an improvement in their form. Serbia would also play Cameroun in their next match, a must-win for both teams.