Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Brazil danced and dumped Serbia to book Mexico in last 16

Brazil are in action against Serbia at the World Cup on Wednesday Brazil are in action against Serbia at the World Cup on Wednesday
Domingo Copeland | 28 June, 2018, 05:45

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.

However, while their superstar front men were making little headway at the other end, having conceded three goals in their previous 12 games, Brazil's often-overlooked defence again showed their mettle as Serbia threw more men forward.

Serbia repeatedly struggled to contain Brazil's fleet-footed attack.

And once Thiago Silva extended Brazil's advantage with an unmarked header from a corner, Tite's side regained a measure of composure and went close to a third on numerous occasions. He said he's learned so much since then, leaving Tottenham for a spell in China before joining Barcelona. I am here because I worked and I deserve it.

Marcelo is widely considered to be the best left-back in European football. Filipe Luis, who is playing at his first World Cup after failing to be selected in 2010 and 2014, was brought on to replace him.

This was a more assured performance from Brazil compared to its first two group matches.

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Philippe Coutinho skips out of the tackle from Nemanja Matic during Brazil's 2-0 win over Serbia. The victory was good for first place.

"We don't live by expectation, we live by reality", Brazil coach Tite said when asked how he felt about his team now being tournament favourites.

Mitrovic's shot had gone behind Alisson and was heading toward goal, but Silva got there in time to clear it away.

Mitrovic was presented with a golden opportunity to equalise four minutes later after Alisson punched a cross from the right straight at the striker, whose header came back off Silva and rebounded into the keeper's arms.

The wind was taken out of Serbia's sails and Brazil confidently saw out the final stages, Stojkovic doing well to thwart Neymar in stoppage time as the Selecao avoided the humiliating group-stage exit that befell fellow heavyweights and defending champions Germany earlier in the day.

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