Brazil canter

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Jun 2018 12:19:13




A WIN was desperately needed to book knock-out berth and Brazil produced champion stuff in their do-or-die match against Serbia. They played like Brazil of yore, to beat Serbia 2-0 which helped them book last 16 berth in style from their last Group E match of World Cup, Wednesday. They will now meet Mexico in prequarter-finals on July 2. Paulinho (36th) and Thiago Silva (68th) shared the spoils in the match completely dominated by the Samba boys. Serbia tried to Keep Brazil at bay till first 35 minutes. But a relentless attacking game from Brazil saw their defence line crumble in the 36th minute.Coutinho lobbed a calculated pass to Paulinho who dashed inside the box with great speed. The midfielder, after managing to breach the defence, lobbed the ball over an advancing Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic into the net to give Brazil much needed lead.

The goal was always coming as Brazil kept constant pressure on Serbian defence. Before Paulinho’s goal, Jesus managed to worm a pass through the legs of a Serbian defender to Neymar, who took a touch and attempted a curl shot towards the far corner from a tight angle but goakeeper Stojkovic read it well and tipped it wide with his fingers.Serbia had an early chance to take lead when they earned a free kick just beyond the halfway line. It was whipped into the box with plenty of pace, but Brazil goalkeeper Alisson was quick off his line to punch the ball clear. They earned a corner within a minute but an agile Alisson once again punched the ball away.

In the stoppage time, Brazil got an opportunity to double the lead. Filipe Luis flicked the ball into the path of Neymar on the edge of the box. Neymar curled the ball but it flew past narrowly over the crossbar at the far post.
The second half started brightly for Serbia and they had a beautiful chance to level the scores in on the hour mark.
Adem Ljajic fired in a dangerous cross from the right flank across the face of goal. Alisson again punched the ball away but it landed in front of Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Mitrovic’s weak header rebounded from the legs of a defender Thiago Silva which landed in safe hands of Alisson.

Against run of play, Brazil succeeded in stretching the lead with Silva heading home a Neymar corner kick in 68th minute.Brazil got opportunities to increase the gulf and Neymar tried hard to script his name in the scoresheet with some exciting dribbling skills but was unlucky.Serbia had better ball possession in the later part of the second half but they failed to convert it into goals. They earned five corners in the match but all went in vain.