Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0 in their World Cup opener on Thursday, with Richarlison scoring two second-half goals, one a magnificent overhead kick, however, Neymar’s ankle injury dampened their jubilation.
Richarlison has been in excellent form for Brazil this season, opening the score with an easy tap-in before doubling the advantage with an acrobatic effort.
This was his ninth goal for Brazil in seven games in 2022, as Brazil moved ahead of Switzerland, who defeated Cameroon 1-0, to lead Group G. Serbia is at the bottom.
Tite’s choice to play with four strikers in his offensive lineup – Neymar, Vinicius Jr., Raphinha, and Richarlison – paid off nicely as the South Americans dominated the encounter and had Serbia work hard every time they went forward.
Vinicius utilised his flair and athleticism to routinely beat his man, while Neymar found pockets of space in a free position, but a well-drilled Serbian defence kept Brazil at bay in the first half.
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Brazil’s best chance of the half came from a corner when Neymar tried to catch Torino goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic off guard by whipping in an inswinger that was on target before the Torino player punched it clear.