Richarlison brightened Brazil’s debut this Thursday at the World Cup in Qatar by scoring the two goals in the win against a tough and seasoned Serbia, one of them in a spectacular overhead kick.
The Tottenham (ENG) striker, who is playing his first World Cup, cracked the Balkan defense in the second half (62, 73) and put the ‘Seleção’, one of the favorites for the title, at the head of Group G It is followed by Switzerland, who beat Cameroon 1-0 earlier.
Without a lucid Neymar, who left the field (79) after a blow, the 25-year-old ‘9’ shirt rescued a ‘Canarinha’ who suffered to deactivate the iron defensive system set up by Dragan Stojkovic, resistant until minute 62 in Partly due to the reflexes of goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.
Both teams collided in the stunning Lusail Stadium, almost completely occupied (capacity 88,966) and which will host the final of the tournament on December 18. Although the ‘yellow’ shirts were the majority, they did not infect the traditional South American passion.
On the second day, on Monday, Brazil will face Switzerland at stadium 974. Serbia and Cameroon, meanwhile, will clash to stay alive the same day, although earlier, at Al Janoub.
Without complexes or fears and playing “smart football”. In the first half, Serbia fully complied with the instructions issued by its coach one day before the debut in the first World Cup held in an Arab country.
The ‘Águilas’ bothered the five-time champions and their offensive formation too much, in which Casemiro was the only containment midfielder, backed by a man with a creative profile like Lucas Paquetá.
The choice of Tite for a team that came out to propose had little to do with the difficulty they encountered in developing their game: between the Serbian physical strength and Stojkovic’s approach they cut the Brazilian circuits.
The four pure attackers of the ‘scratch’ barely caused three chances to score in the first 45 minutes, in a corner taken by Neymar (13) that Milinkovic-Savic prevented from being an Olympic goal; in an assist from Thiago Silva (27) that left Vinicius Jr face to face with the goalkeeper, whose quick exit dispersed the risk; and in a shot missed by Raphinha (34).
Frequently harassed by the Balkan fans when he touched the ball, ‘Ney’ contained himself before the rival fouls (5) that interrupted his desire to do damage.
Serbia’s commitment to field only one man in attack, Aleksandar Mitrovic, leaving his attack partner Dusan Vlahovic on the bench, allowed them to dominate the midfield and mortify Brazil.
Although the task was incomplete, as Alisson was a mere spectator due to the defensive sacrifice of Mitrovic and captain Dusan Tadic.
The rear guard, however, had cracks at the beginning of the second half, especially due to the lack of concentration of Nemanja Gudelj and the struggle of Raphinha and Vinicius Jr on the wings.
The Barcelona (ESP) winger tormented the Sevilla (ESO) midfielder, even forcing him to lose the ball on the edge of the area (46) and causing a new intervention by Milinkovic-Savic. Stojkovic reacted early and replaced Gudelj (57) with Ivan Ilic.
When his hands did not silence Brazil’s coup attempts, the Torino (ITA) goalkeeper had the help of the sticks, as in two long shots by Alex Sandro (60) and Casemiro (81).
Luck, however, is not usually eternal.
The only rebound he gave in the game, from a shot by Vinicius Jr after a play by Neymar, was taken advantage of by Richarlison’s right leg to the relief of a Brazil that, upon returning from the locker room, was more incisive.
Then he would have more activity, and a stretch only useful to embellish Richarlison’s scissors, who received a pass from Vinicius jr with his left foot, turned and hit a right foot to score some relief and surely fight for the podium of the most World Cup in Qatar. (D)