Publish: 25 Nov 2022, 03:25 am
FIFA World Cup 2022
Richarlison's rich run of goalscoring form for Brazil continued as the five-time winners opened Group G by finally breaking the resolve of a determined Serbia thanks to the striker's second-half double.
Brazil dominated possession for much of the first half but were unable to ask too many questions of a well-drilled Serbia defence. Instead they were left relying on moments of individual improvisation and inspiration, Neymar's clever inswinging corner just clawed away by goalkeeper Vanja Milinković-Savić.
With Vinicius Junior looking Brazil's most likely source of a breakthrough on the left, his opposite winger Raphinha came closest to finding a way through after exchanging passes with Lucas Paqueta only to prod straight at the goalkeeper, who also saved sharply at the feet of Vinicius Junior.
Brazil came out for the second half at an increased tempo, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic having to deny Raphinha within seconds of the restart before Neymar sliced wide from Vinicius Junior's cross.
Alex Sandro then smashed a long-range effort off the post on the hour, but two minutes later the South American side were in front. Neymar made the initial foray into the area, the ball breaking for Vinicius Junior and, though Milinkovic-Savic kept out his low shot, Richarlison was on hand to turn in the rebound.
The Tottenham striker's second goal was even more special, a flick into the air from Vinicius Junior's low cross preceding a spectacular volley that made it nine goals in his last seven international appearances.
Brazil continued to pour forward in the closing stages, Casemiro curling against the crossbar, but the South American side had already secured a solid opening victory.
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