Soccer  

World Cup 2022: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Richarlison scores both goals

Richarlison lit up the World Cup with a moment of Brazilian magic as the tournament favourites overcame Serbia’s stubborn resistance to open their campaign with an impressive victory.

Brazil had to play a patient game to break down an organised Serbia rearguard but forced the breakthrough after 62 minutes when Tottenham striker Richarlison turned home a close-range finish after Vanja Milinkovic-Savic saved Vinicius Junior’s effort.

Richarlison’s crowning moment came 11 minutes later, at first mis-controlling a pass from Vinicius but readjusting brilliantly to take the aerial route and fire home an acrobatic right-foot finish.

It was no more than Brazil – backed by the massed ranks of their yellow-clad fans – deserved as they dominated throughout, with Alex Sandro and Casemiro hitting the woodwork and Milinkovic-Savic also saving superbly from Fred.

Brazil’s performance made ominous viewing for their rivals, as did the sight of Gabriel Jesus, Antony and Gabriel Martinelli coming off the bench in a powerful show of squad strength, although there was the worrying sight of Neymar going off after taking a knock.

Brazil lay down World Cup marker

Brazil arrived in Qatar accompanied by the usual huge weight of expectation that always accompanies the five-time world champions, but if it was a burden they carried it lightly here.

From the scenes of players dancing on the team bus and on their way into the stadium to their performance, Brazil looked right at home and justified the belief of many that they will be the eventual winners.

Brazil were happy to keep probing in the face of outstanding Serbian defence but once they went through the gears after half-time they were irresistible.

Serbia, who did not have a shot on target, were already creaking when Richarlison pounced for the first goal and the game was over once he scored that truly exhilarating second.

Brazil could have added more as they tore holes in Serbia’s tiring defence as the game wore on but this was a hugely satisfactory night for coach Tite in so many ways.

Neymar worked hard but was quiet, although he was involved in the build-up to Richarlson’s first, but Vinicius showed how impressive he can be while Casemiro ruled midfield with his usual authority.

This was not an easy game for Brazil against the side ranked 21st in the world but ultimately they were comfortable and deserved winners.

Serbia finally broken down

Serbia’s gameplan was to frustrate and steal something on the counter, as demonstrated by their players receiving high fives from coaching staff as they went off at half-time with the game goalless.

The ploy was ultimately unsuccessful but they can still take plenty from their performance.

Serbia are still in with a chance of qualifying as it is hard to see anyone coping with Brazil, and they demonstrated how difficult they will be to break down in their remaining games against Switzerland and Cameroon.

That said, they could not get any worthwhile service to main striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, while Dusan Tadic was unable to exert any influence.

Serbia are well-drilled and uncompromising – if they can add in a degree of service to Mitrovic then they have the potential to advance.

Player of the match

Vinícius JúniorVinícius Júnior

Brazil

  1. Squad number20Player nameVinícius Júnior

  2. Squad number10Player nameNeymar

  3. Squad number9Player nameRicharlison

  4. Squad number5Player nameCasemiro

  5. Squad number26Player nameGabriel Martinelli

  6. Squad number3Player nameThiago Silva

  7. Squad number4Player nameMarquinhos

  8. Squad number11Player nameRaphinha

  9. Squad number1Player nameAlisson

  10. Squad number18Player nameGabriel Jesus

  11. Squad number21Player nameRodrygo

  12. Squad number6Player nameAlex Sandro

  13. Squad number7Player nameLucas Paquetá

  14. Squad number2Player nameDanilo

  15. Squad number8Player nameFred

  16. Squad number19Player nameAntony

Serbia

  1. Squad number10Player nameTadic

  2. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic

  3. Squad number20Player nameMilinkovic-Savic

  4. Squad number23Player nameMilinkovic-Savic

  5. Squad number4Player nameMilenkovic

  6. Squad number2Player namePavlovic

  7. Squad number5Player nameVeljkovic

  8. Squad number16Player nameLukic

  9. Squad number25Player nameMladenovic

  10. Squad number14Player nameZivkovic

  11. Squad number8Player nameGudelj

  12. Squad number6Player nameMaksimovic

  13. Squad number18Player nameVlahovic

  14. Squad number7Player nameRadonjic

  15. Squad number24Player nameIlic

  16. Squad number22Player nameLazovic

Line-ups

Brazil

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Alisson
  • 2Danilo
  • 4Marquinhos
  • 3Thiago Silva
  • 6Lobo Silva
  • 7Tolentino Coelho de LimaSubstituted forFredat 75′minutes
  • 5Casemiro
  • 11RaphinhaSubstituted forMartinelliat 87′minutes
  • 10NeymarSubstituted forAntonyat 80′minutes
  • 20Vinícius JúniorSubstituted forRodrygoat 76′minutes
  • 9RicharlisonSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Fred
  • 12Pereira da Silva
  • 13Alves da Silva
  • 14Militão
  • 15Fabinho
  • 16Nicolao Telles
  • 17Bruno Guimarães
  • 18Gabriel Jesus
  • 19Antony
  • 21Rodrygo
  • 22de Barros Ribeiro
  • 23Ederson
  • 24Silva Nascimento
  • 25Abreu dos Santos
  • 26Martinelli

Serbia

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 23Milinkovic-Savic
  • 4Milenkovic
  • 5Veljkovic
  • 2PavlovicBooked at 7mins
  • 14ZivkovicSubstituted forRadonjicat 57′minutes
  • 16LukicBooked at 64minsSubstituted forLazovicat 66′minutes
  • 8GudeljBooked at 49minsSubstituted forIlicat 57′minutes
  • 25MladenovicSubstituted forVlahovicat 66′minutes
  • 10Tadic
  • 20Milinkovic-Savic
  • 9MitrovicSubstituted forMaksimovicat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Dmitrovic
  • 3Erakovic
  • 6Maksimovic
  • 7Radonjic
  • 11Jovic
  • 12Rajkovic
  • 13Mitrovic
  • 15Babic
  • 17Kostic
  • 18Vlahovic
  • 19Racic
  • 21Djuricic
  • 22Lazovic
  • 24Ilic
  • 26Grujic

Referee:
Alireza Faghani

Attendance:
88,103

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