Richarlison & Brazil sink Serbia in World Cup opener

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LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - NOVEMBER 24: Richarlison of Brazil celebrates after scoring their teams second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia at Lusail Stadium on November 24, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - NOVEMBER 24: Richarlison of Brazil celebrates after scoring their teams second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Brazil and Serbia at Lusail Stadium on November 24, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Brazil opened their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday evening.

Richarlison, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior and star man Neymar Junior headlined the Selecao’s attack, while Serbia featured Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

It was the Selecao that launched the first meaningful opening 20 minutes in when Carlos Casemiro’s pile-driver from range stung the gloves of Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

Brazil kept piling forward in the opening stages and runs off-the-ball from Neymar, Casemiro, Raphinha and Lucas Paqueta forced Serbia to employ a number of players behind the ball.

A golden chance inside the half-hour mark from Raphinha arrived when he played a one-two with Paqueta on the edge of the area and forced a save out of Vanja.

The dominance from the Selecao continued a minute in the second half and were nearly ahead from a loose pass in a danger area, but Vanja managed to smother Raphinha.

Brazil were inches away from a breakthrough when a powerful drive from Alex Sandro after 60 minutes clattered off the upright and bounced back into play.

Eventually, the opener came two minutes later after Richarlison reacted quickest to a spill from Vanja off Vinicius’ teasing shot and turned home from close-range.

Serbia added reinforcements up front moments thereafter in Dusan Vlahovic for Filip Mladenovic before Sasa Lukic came off for Darko Lazovic.

The Selecao, though, snatched a second goal around the closing ten minutes when Richarlison brought a pass from Vinicius under control and applied a superb overhead finish.

A third goal very nearly followed later on as a slow passing move outside the area found Casemiro, who curled against the woodwork before substitute Rodrygo had a scorcher palmed by Vanja.

Tite’s men managed to run down the closing exchanges and started their tournament with a win in Group G.

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