Brazil cruise into last 16 by beating Serbia

28 June, 2018, 05:43 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Neymar EFE

Brazil eliminated Serbia and secured their place in the second round of the World Cup after a comfortable 2-0 victory in Moscow. Mitrovic has scored 18 goals in 26 games for Fulham and Serbia in 2018 and is a constant threat, especially from crosses.

Ten minutes into the match, the South Americans were dealt a blow as Marcelo was forced off with an injury and replaced by Felipe Luis.

Gabriel Jesus was Brazil's biggest threat going forward, twisting and turning in the box and seeing his shot blocked by Nikola Milenkovic mid-way through the half.

Philippe Coutinho, who scored in each of Brazil's first two games, played one of the passes of the tournament to pick out Paulinho, who lifted the ball over Vladimir Stojkovic.

The White Eagles enjoyed a good spell of pressure and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic curled an effort well wide of the right post from 16 yards out in the 63rd minute after being fed by Dusan Tadic, before Alisson was well placed to collect Mitrovic's firm downward header from Antonio Rukavina's cross on the right two minutes later.

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The goal put Brazil back on top of their group, Switzerland having earlier gone ahead against Costa Rica, and left Serbia with an uphill task going into the second half.

After Miranda had nearly steered an Adem Ljajic ball into his own net, Aleksandar Mitrovic missed with two headers, the first striking Thiago Silva after Alisson's flap and the second straight at the goalkeeper from close range.

Coutinho once again came through for Brazil as he put the victor home in the 91st minute while Neymar sealed the match off with one of his own in the 97th.

With the group stage over Brazil have so far failed to dazzle as many expected and their most creative player has been Coutinho, not Neymar. Serbia need a win or combination of a draw plus a multi-goal loss from Switzerland to make it to the knockout rounds.

Others in the last 16 will be wary - the five-time winners mean business in Russian Federation.

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