Brazil vs Serbia 2-0: Richarlison Magic Steals the Stage

Like the star of the party that makes its entrance last, Brazil triumphally entered the Qatar 2022 stage in the last game of the first matchday with an emphatic win over Serbia powered by Richarlison.

The Tottenham youngster scored both the Selecao goals after missing a string of easy chances that made one wonder why coach Tite kept him on the pitch considering the kind of firepower he had on the bench. But things change fast in football, and Richarlison’s second strike, in particular, was something that made the whole crowd at the stadium stand up and clap their hands in awe.

From a Vinicius suggestion, he adjusted the ball with his left foot, then whipped it into the back of the net with an acrobatic right-foot overhead. It was a goal that will make it to the history of this World Cup and likely to that of the whole competition.

Torino’s keeper Vanja Milinkovic Savic avoided a more severe punishment for the Serbians, who held their own in the first half as they kept their composure at the back. But, it turned out, Brazil were just warming up as they left absolutely no chance to Dragan Stojkovic’s squad after the restart.

On top of Richarlison’s goals, they also hit the posts twice and forced poor Vanja to work overtime to keep the score at 0-2 only. It was an impressive demonstration of power from the Brazilians, perhaps only matched by France’s two days ago.  

For the first game in Qatar, Tite deployed Richarlison as central striker with Raphinha, Neymar e Vinicius to support him. Dragan Stojkovic answered with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic upfront, leaving Dusan Vlahovic on the bench. The Juventus talent was sent in the first half but pretty much left no trace. 

Serbia were also powered by the Milinkovic Savic brothers, Sergej in midfield and Vanja between the sticks. The Torino goalkeeper was the man of the match in the first half, as he defused Brazil’s only challenge with an incredibly well-timed exit to stop Vinicius. The Real Madrid starlet was picked by 35-year-old Thiago Silva with a sublime vertical pass.

On top of that, there was only a great exchange between Lucas Paquetá and Raphinha to record in the first half, but the Barcelona man’s conclusion was poor.

The story completely changed in the second period as the Selecao decided to accelerate and Serbia suddenly found themselves with no answers. Nemanja Gudelj’s mistake triggered a new shot from Raphinha but the Torino custodian denied him with another brilliant save. 

Everybody could shoot for Brazil: on 60 minutes, left back Alex Sandro made the bar rattle with a terrific shot from outside the box. That was the sign that Serbia’s resistance was about to collapse. Indeed, exactly two minutes later, Neymar remembered that he is supposed to be the leader of this team and penetrated in the area with a dazzling dribble to serve Vinicius. 

From the Real Madrid starlet’s shot, Milikovic-Savic made his umpteenth save but he couldn’t do anything as Richarlison pounced on the rebound to finally break the stalemate. Nor he could do much 12 minutes later, when the platinum-haired forward volleyed the ball past him from another Vinicius cross, scoring what will likely be the best goal of the tournament. (but, with so many days ahead, who knows?)

With the match done and dusted, Tite gave some playing time to his additional strikers – Gabriel Jesus, Rodrygo, Martinelli, Antony, Fred, you name it. But it was a solid midfielder like Casemiro to come closest to score the third with a brutal screamer that made the woodwork rattle again. Pure showtime. Brazil mean business and the rest of the pack is warned. 


November 24, 2022 – FIFA World Cup Group G

SCORERS: 62′ Richarlison, 74′ Richarlison

BRAZIL (4-3-3): Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro; Paquetà (75′ Fred), Casemiro; Raphinha (87′ Martinelli), Neymar (80′ Antony), Vinicius Junior (76′ Rodrygo); Richarlison (79′ Gabriel Jesus) (Ederson, Weverton, Dani Alves, Eder Militao, Fabinho, Alex Telles, Bruno Guimaraes, Everton Ribeiro, Bremer, Pedro) Coach: Tite
SERBIA (3-4-1-2): V. Milinkovic-Savic; Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic (57′ Radonjic), Lukic (66′ Lazovic), S. Milinkovic-Savic, Gudelj (57′ Ilic); Mladenovic (66′ Vlahovic); A. Mitrovic, Tadic (Dmitrovic, Erakovic, Jovic, Rajkovic, S. Mitrovic, Babic, Kostic, Racic, Djuricic, Grujic) Coach: Stojkovic
NOTES: Yellow Cards: ; Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 7′
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