|Brazil celebrates Paulinho’s goal which helped send them on their way to the Round of 16 (Image from Indian Express)|
Goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva secured a 2-0 victory for Brazil against Serbia, as Brazil qualify for the next round, finishing top of their group.
After a slow start in Russia, we were finally able to witness glimpses of the vintage Brazil style that we were used to seeing them play. The game didn’t start too well for Brazil when Marcelo had to go off the pitch, reportedly due to back spasms. But Brazil looked promising on the attack, with Neymar having a decent chance midway through the first half. In the 36th minute, they opened the scoring after Coutinho played a perfectly weighted pass through to Paulinho, who dinked it over the keeper. In the second, half, Serbia started off on the front foot, with Mitrovic missing a glorious chance, heading the ball straight at a defender when there was no keeper in front of him. Mitrovic had another heading opportunity, but this time it was aimed straight at Alisson. Brazil sealed the win with Thiago Silva heading in from a corner whipped in by Neymar.
|Thiago Silva heads it in from a corner (image from Sports.NDTV)|
The win sent Serbia home and Brazil through to the knockout stages, where they face Mexico in the round of 16. Although they didn’t get off to the best of starts, Brazil will certainly fancy their chances of going all the way, especially with other big teams not performing to usual standards. With Neymar finding his feet again and Coutinho on top form, this team are certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Serbia Player Ratings
Vladimir Stojkovic (6) – Made a few decent saves throughout the course of the match.
Antonio Rukavina (6) – Did well going forwards putting balls into the box but struggled to deal with the attack down his flank.
Nikola Milenkovic (5) – Partly at fault for the second goal, letting Thiago Silva get goal side of him.
Milos Veljkovic (5) – Found it difficult to contain the Brazil attack, especially towards the end of the game.
Aleksandar Kolarov (5) – Not his best game defensively and struggled to deliver many good balls int the box.
Nemanja Matic (5) – Didn’t have much of an impact on the game, apart from a short period in the second half, where did well going forwards.
Sergej Milinkovic Savic (4) – Not very effective in attacking positions.
Dusan Tadic (7) – Looked dangerous down the wing when on the ball.
Adam Ljajic (6) – Had a decent spell in the second half but couldn’t find the end product.
Filip Kostic (5) – Did well defensively but couldn’t offer much upfront.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (6) – Was a threat upfront but should have scored at least one of his chances he had in the box.
Brazil Player Ratings
Alisson (5) – Parried the ball away from a cross and almost conceded a goal from it.
Fagner (6) – Covered well in his half.
Miranda (6) – Solid performance from him at the back.
Thiago Silva (7) – Strong in defence as always and scored with a powerful header.
Marcelo (4) – Couldn’t make an impact on the game due to his early injury.
Paulinho (7) – Latched onto the ball and finished well to open the scoring.
Casemiro (6) – Distributed the ball well in the centre of the pitch.
Coutinho (8) – Provided a tough test for the Serbian defence and did very well for his assist.
Willian (7) – Looked lively down his wing, an improved performance from his game against Costa Rica.
Gabriel Jesus (6) – Had a few good chances which he squandered.
Neymar (8) – Sharp on the ball and he set up the second goal well.
Man of the Match – Phillipe Coutinho – The creative Barcelona star continues to impress for his national side.
|Another top performance from Coutinho (Image from Daily Express)|