Brazil begin group campaign with win over Serbia
Doha, Nov 25 (IANS) Two second half goals from Richarlison helped Brazil to begin their group campaign with 2-0 win over Serbia at the Lusail stadium in Doha on Thursday evening.
Richarlison twin strikes came in the 62nd and 73rd minute and helped him to take his individual goals tally to 19 goals.
The Selecao were far from impressive in the first half.
The flair which Brazil was known for has vanished to a large extent.
But more than the flamboyant style of play it was the precision passing and the decisive final touch which were eluding the South Americians in the first half. They had the ball possession, had most of the cracks at the goals, earned some five corner kicks and kept the rivals guessing but the goal eluded them in the first half.
After Vinicius Junior and Neymar had come close to breaking open the Serbia defense in the first half it was in the second half that Brazil.stepped up the pace.
After some close look in at the Serbia goal, the Brazilians nearly took the lead-up but were denied by the metal work.
With a quarter gone unto the match Alex Sandro's long drive eluded a full stretched Serbia keeper but crashed into the goal post and rebounded into play.
Brazil did not have to wait long to take the lead and it came two minutes later.
Richarlison slotted home a loose ball from close range.
It was Neymar's fancy footwork at work. He got past three players on the edge of the box before Vinicius stepped in and whipped a shot to the far post. The goalkeeper gets down to low to stop it but Richarlison is sniffing around and smacks in the rebound and the deadlock was broken.
Richarlison scored his second goal when his right footed elegant drive from the centre of the box after been set up by Vinicius Junior.
Vinicius firing in a cross with the outside of his foot and Richarlison controlling the ball with the inside of his left foot before spinning around, and firing an overhead kick with his right into the corner of the goal.
Thereafter in the 81st minute, Casemiro strokes a shot with his instep -- with seemingly no power -- that crashes off the bar.
In between Serbia came with a couple of efforts which Brazilian defenders kept away from the safety of the goal, including a goalie clearance.
Thereafter both Brazil and Serbia created chances but didn't trouble the goal scorers.