In the FIFA World Cup, the Brazil–Serbia match concluded the first group stage. Biggest gold contender Brazil delivered immediately, winning 2-0 after a complete effort.
Brazil fielded an attacking line-up with Neymar, Raphinha, Richarlison and Vinicius Junior all included in the starting XI.
It was more or less a one-goal game in the first half. Brazil poured on, while a compact Serbia made a solid defensive effort and the half-time score was written 0-0.
Brazil needed an hour to break the Serbian clean sheet. It was spearhead Richarlison who gave the yellow shirts the lead when 62 minutes had been played.
Ten minutes later, Richarlison made it 2–0 and it was again assisted by Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior. One of the WC’s most delicate goals so far.
– A nice goal, an art goal, a class goal. It is settled. Richarlison has sunk Serbia, declared commentator Christoffer Herberts after the 2–0 goal.
Last summer, Richarlison moved from Everton to Tottenham and has not scored a single goal in his ten Premier League games. In the WC, the balance is now two goals in one match.
Serbia never got a final push going, and Brazil won the match 2–0 and shots on goal 10–0. A complete effort which means that the expectations for the already biggest WC favorite are only growing.
Kanerva: “Strong mentality”
Finland’s national team captain Markku Kanerva, who was sitting in Yle’s studio, was impressed.
– A convincing effort. Especially in the second half. The goal frame received hits and two fine goals. This was a sign of strong mentality, says Kanerva.
Kanerva thinks it was good that Neymar did not play first violin.
– That Richarlison scores takes the pressure off Neymar. Richarlison is a modern striker. Fast, strong-minded and skilled. Brazil has lacked that type of player, says Kanerva.
Neymar suffered a knock in the second half and was substituted in the 79th minute. It is unclear if Neymar suffered an injury and, if so, how serious it is.
Expert Juho Rantala emphasizes that the match was not easy for Brazil.
– Serbia is not a bad team, says Rantala.
– It is difficult to find weaknesses in Brazil. They defended really well and attacked well enough.
On Monday, a match awaits that will probably decide the group victory when Brazil and Switzerland collide.