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Serbia vs Brazil: Mitrovic ready to inflict WC agony on Selecaos

28 June, 2018, 04:14 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Neymar gets ready for Brazil's winner takes-all-clash with Serbia

Brazil booked their passage to the World Cup round of 16 as Group E winners after they comfortably beat Serbia 2-0 at the Otkrytiye Arena on Wednesday.

News of Costa Rica's equaliser against Switzerland appeared to galvanise Serbia further and Aleksandar Mitrovic twice should have scored from close range headers as Brazil began to look rattled.

With defending champions Germany knocked out and Argentina scraping through at the death, five-times champions Brazil were desperate to stamp their authority on a tournament where World Cup pedigree has counted for so little. Serbia need a win or combination of a draw plus a multi-goal loss from Switzerland to make it to the knockout rounds. Serbia was eliminated, finishing third in the group behind Switzerland.

Philippe Coutinho was the architect in central midfield, lofting a long ball into the path of Paulinho who broke the offside trap and let the ball bounce once before lifting it over the onrushing Stojkovic into the goal.


Brazil took a while to find their stride against a physical Serbian side who still had hopes of progress and briefly rattled the favourites, but once Paulinho put them ahead after 36 minutes they always looked comfortable and Silva's 68th-minute header settled it.

Tite was forced to change his lineup on 10 minutes when left-back Marcelo exited with back spasms and was replaced by Atletico Madrid's Felipe Luis.

Mitrovic then headed straight at Alisson when he found himself free in the box, as Serbia failed to land the telling blow with Brazil rocking.

That spell around the hour proved Serbia's high water mark, however, as Brazil made it 2-0 when Silva rose high to thump home a Neymar corner after 68 minutes. A Seleção dictated the pace of this game for large parts, although it should also be acknowledged that they were under major pressure when Thiago Silva popped up to head home that decisive second goal.

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