Qatar 2022: Richarlison’s brace secures Brazil winning start


Brazil made a winning start to their World Cup campaign against Serbia as Richarlison scored a brace with his second being a remarkable overhead finish.

Looking to end their 20-year drought on the biggest stage, it was far from the convincing opening period from the Selecao, going into the break with it still goalless after a half devoid of many actions.

But having seen Argentina and Germany already slip up, Brazil ensured they were not added to the upset list as Richarlison netted a second-half brace, the second a sensational volley to effectively put the match to bed.

Tite put an attacking team out for his side’s opening Group G clash, Casemiro almost a one-man midfield at times as the five players ahead of him put their focus on getting forward.

Despite the stars on the show, it was a cagey 45 minutes, Serbia’s shape and doggedness more than a match for the quality in yellow. Vinicius Jr had a couple of bright moments out wide on the left, but could not produce the final ball.

The best chance of the first half fell for Raphinha after he combined brilliantly with Lucas Paqueta. That left the Barcelona winger clean through on goal, though the finish that followed was little more than a back-pass to Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

Brazil should really have taken the lead seconds after the restart, as Serbia were caught playing out from the back, but once again Raphinha could not provide the finish with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The pressure began to increase, as Neymar fired wide from inside the box and Sandro’s effort from distance thumped back off the inside of the post and away to safety.

Serbia could not hold on though, the goal coming just after the hour mark. Vinicius’ low strike was palmed out into the six-yard box, where Richarlison was waiting to turn it into the empty net to continue his strong goal scoring run at the international level.

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