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Brazil ease into last 16 with win over Serbia

28 June, 2018, 04:12 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Neymar gets ready for Brazil's winner takes-all-clash with Serbia

Serbia must beat Brazil to qualify for the last 16; if they draw it would leave them relying on Costa Rica to comfortably beat Switzerland.

Both of Brazil's goals came when Serbia threatened to get back into the match.

He also toiled tirelessly in midfield as the five-time world champions produced a reassuring performance.

For Serbia, Mitrovic was a direct force up front, while Tadic picked up where he left off against Switzerland, being a threat down the right.

Brazil took the lead in the 36th minute when Paulinho raced through to on to through ball by Philippe Coutinho to lob over the on-rushing goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

A win or even a draw will be enough for Switzerland to book themselves a ticket for the knockout stages.

That scenario would create a wave of criticism for Tite and his players, and Mitrovic is hoping Serbia can exploit Brazilian nerves at Spartak Stadium.

Tite was forced to change his lineup on 10 minutes when left-back Marcelo exited with back spasms and was replaced by Atletico Madrid's Felipe Luis. Serbia ended in third place on three points and are eliminated along with Costa Rica.

That assist was a frustrated Neymar's major contribution as he fired one shot at Stojkovic's legs after a 70-metre counter-attack, bounced another over the bar and saw the keeper palm clear his final effort of a night where he was routinely bullied off the ball and lost possession countless times.

Mitrovic then headed straight at Alisson when he found himself free in the box, as Serbia failed to land the telling blow with Brazil rocking.

Brazil extend their FIFA World Cup group stage unbeaten streak to 15 games on their way to topping Group E.

That spell around the hour proved Serbia's high water mark, however, as Brazil made it 2-0 when Silva rose high to thump home a Neymar corner after 68 minutes.

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