Five-time world champions Brazil started the tournament with a 2-0 win over Serbia. The first highlight at Lusail Stadium was provided by PSG star Neymar in the 13th minute, who almost converted a corner kick that hit the near post. The South Americans remained the dominating team against a deep opponent, but lacked the necessary precision in front of the Serbian goal.
A few seconds after the restart, Raphinha captured the ball on the East Europeans’ sixteen, but failed from close range at keeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. A Neymar free-kick shortly afterwards found its master in the Serbian wall, and the 30-year-old shot wide from eleven meters in the 55th minute. Brazil’s left-back Alex Sandro (60′) followed up with a long-range shot on the post.
Richarlison hits luck
Two minutes later it was Richarlison who finally redeemed the Seleção. The Tottenham striker saved a Vinicius shot from five yards out that was blocked by goalkeeper Milinkovic-Savic. Serbia acted more courageously as a result, but was then shocked again by Richarlison (73rd): The 25-year-old magically converted a side kick from twelve meters to make it 2-0.
Brazil missed further opportunities, such as Casemiro (81st) with a crossbar hit. In the first game of Group G, Switzerland won 1-0 against Cameroon at midday. On Monday, the Swiss will meet Brazil, while the Africans will face Serbia.