After a goalless first half, the World No. 1 side brought out its best in the second half to outclass Serbia, who looked out of depth in the end. Brazil broke the deadlock when Richarlison scored from close range in the 62nd minute, before the striker added a spectacular overhead kick to double the lead 11 minutes later.
The Tottenham Hotspur forward has been in fine form when wearing the golden yellow kit of Brazil this year and he opened the scoring with an easy tap-in before doubling the lead with his acrobatic effort.
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Tite’s decision to go with four forwards – Neymar, Vinicius Jr., Raphinha and Richarlison – in his attacking lineup paid off handsomely as the South Americans dominated the match and made Serbia work hard every time they went forward.
Vinicius used his acceleration to good effect to constantly beat his man while Neymar, playing in a free role, often found pockets of space, but a well-drilled Serbian defence kept Brazil at bay in the first half.
Serbia had been sweating over the fitness of their all-time top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic but coach Dragan Stojkovic named him in the starting lineup.
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Unlike Brazil’s forward line, however, which threatened from all sides, the Fulham striker found himself isolated up front with little service.
The second half was one-way traffic as Brazil shifted through the gears, Richarlison and Neymar wasting gilt-edged chances inside the box and Alex Sandro and Casemiro sending long-range efforts against the woodwork.
The breakthrough came just after the hour from brilliant work by Neymar to find Vinicius, whose initial shot was saved by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, but Richarlison was in the right place to tap in the rebound for his first World Cup goal.
Serbia had been playing conservatively up to that point and had no choice but to pour forward, which gave Brazil more space and the second goal from Richarlison brought the biggest roar of the night from the Brazilian contingent.
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As Richarlison attempted to control a cross from Vinicius, the ball popped up over his head and he leapt up in the air to volley home a bicycle kick and seal the win for Brazil.
Such was Brazil’s dominance that they made as many as 22 attempts on goal in the match with eight on target, while Serbia failed to hit the target in their five attempts. Brazil now jumped to the top of the group standings with the win.
Switzerland are second in the group after they beat Cameroon 1-0 and Serbia are bottom.
(With inputs from agencies)
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