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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

Richarlison 2 good for Serbia

Richarlison made his FIFA World Cup debut by scoring twice in the second half to help Brazil overcome Serbia 2-0. The Seleçao, meanwhile, has not lost in a group stage match since 1998.

World champions five times over ,The Seleçao began their 15-match unbeaten streak in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup to a warm welcome at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Neymar initially displayed the confidence of a player with 15 club goals this season by shooting directly at goal from a corner as Brazil quickly gained control of the match. Always on guard, Vanja Milinkovi-Savic retreated and deflected the PSG player's shot over the crossbar.

Thiago Silva then maneuvered a well-weighted pass through a wall of defenders after having few choices left in the final third and nearly found Vincius Jnior in the penalty box, but Milinkovi-Savi was quick off his line to paw the ball away at the crucial second. He maintained his composure throughout the first half to ensure that his squad maintained its opportunity of being just the third team in eight years to shut out Brazil during the World Cup championships, while managing a Serbian team that only managed one clean sheet throughout qualifying.

Brazil stepped up the tempo after halftime in an effort to capitalize on their recent seven-game winning streak. Neymar curled wide from Vincius Jnior's cross before Alex Sandro's dipping shot struck the post. However, the pressure soon caught up to a worn-out Serbia, as Richarlison scored his eighth goal in seven international matches after Milinkovic-botched Savic's save. As Sergej Milinkovic-threatening Savic's header was blocked by the Brazilian defense, a sense of urgency overcame Serbia, who had scored 11 goals in their previous three games.

In contrast, Brazil mercilessly penetrated the Eagles' defense as Richarlison controlled in the air and unleashed an unstoppable overhead kick past a rooted Milinkovic-Savic as Serbia threw caution to the wind. Ultimately, Richarlison's class proved to be the difference maker, and the two goals were entirely appropriate for a dominant Seleçao performance. To advance to their first knockout round as an independent nation, the Eagles must swiftly regain their form after Dragan Stojkovic's Serbia found the jump up in quality to be too much to handle.

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