FIFA World Cup 2022: Brazil wins 2-0 against Serbia

Status: 11/24/2022 10:14 p.m

Title candidate Brazil successfully passed the first acid test of the World Cup against Serbia. Double packer Richarlison was the hero of the evening in the 2-0 (0-0) win – and particularly impressed with his second goal.

In the first 20 minutes, the Brazilian team got a glimpse of how difficult the task against Serbia will be. The Selecao stars were given no space to play to their technical strengths, the intense game was repeatedly interrupted by fouls and up to this point nothing at all happened in front of the goals (both teams without a shot attempt).

Casemiro was the first player to put the ball on the Serbian goal. His long-range shot didn’t pose any major problems for keeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (21′). He had to prove his class in the 27th minute when Vinicius Junior was staged with a through ball when the Torino goalkeeper who rushed out managed to spy the ball away at the last moment.

Up front with difficulties, behind without problems

Brazil now found more means against the Serbian bulwark, above all they gained a little more speed in their own game, which had been rather sluggish up to that point. But in the last row, the strong Serbian back three around Milos Veljkovic (SV Werder Bremen) was able to defend the attacks of the title favorite again and again. And when the Brazilians managed to combine, the precision was lacking, as in Raphinha’s shot directly at Milinkovic-Savic (35′).

As expandable as the Selecao’s offensive performance was, the defensive deserves praise. The opposing attacks were mostly interrupted early on by the aggressive pressing, in the last row the veterans Marquinhos and Thiago Silva, who at 38 is now the oldest Brazilian player in the history of the World Cup, convinced with strong positional play.

First the goalkeeper saves, then the post

This was also shown by Milinkovic-Savic when the second half was only a few seconds old. After a hair-raising loss of the ball by Nemanja Gudelj, Raphinha appeared free in front of the Serbian goalkeeper, who was also able to fend off Brazil’s best scoring opportunity to date (46′). However, Milinkovic-Savic did not have to intervene at Neymar’s first real chance – the Selecao superstar clearly missed a cross from Vinicius Junior (55′).

The Serbian goalkeeper was beaten for the first time in the 60th minute. A brilliant left-footed shot by full-back Alex Sandro hit the post – Milinkovic-Savic would have been powerless (60′). It was the greatest chance of a one-sided game and proof that, despite their superiority, Brazil were now also developing danger.

Richarlison fulfills the job of a centre-forward

At this point the numbers were clear: 58 percent possession of the ball, 57 percent of duels won, 14:1 shots on goal – only the sense of achievement was missing. However, that came with the 16th attempt. Vinicius Junior forced Milinkovic-Savic to do another feat, but center forward Richarlison shot the ball into an empty goal from four yards out – the overdue 1-0 win for Brazil (63′). It was only the 20th ball contact of the 25-year-old, no field player had less.

Only then did things get turbulent in the Brazilian penalty area. After a corner kick, the game device was brought dangerously in front of the goal several times, but Marquinhos was able to clear twice just before the line (70th).

Brazil dominated for 72 minutes, played calmly, showed class without shining – and then showed the great art of football. Vinicius Junior crossed with his outside instep, Richarlison stopped the ball in the air with his left foot, spiraled straight into the air for a side kick and slammed the ball into the net with his right. The most beautiful goal of the World Cup so far, the second goal for Richarlison, the preliminary decision for Brazil.

Coach Tite wants the title farewell

After convincing performances from England (6-2 against Iran), France (4-1 against Australia) and Spain (7-0 against Costa Rica), the fourth team Brazil showed why they are among the biggest contenders for the World Cup title counting. 20 years after winning the tournament in Japan and South Korea, things should finally work out in Qatar – also for coach Tite. After six and a half years, the 61-year-old will retire after the World Cup. The term of office should end with the sixth title of the record world champion.

And on the way there, Brazil obviously wants to offer something. Casemiro almost scored the second dream goal of the evening. However, his shot from 22 meters went a few centimeters too high and hit the crossbar (81st). Shortly thereafter, Milinkovic-Savic had to fend off a long-range shot from Antony (83′).

It was the last time he had to intervene. Besides the small inaccuracies in the Brazilian goal, the goalkeeper was the only reason why the favorites didn’t have a thrashing victory, but “only” a 2-0. In addition to the evaluation of chances, there was still a drop of bitterness. Neymar had to be replaced injured and limped into the dressing room with a badly swollen ankle.


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