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Richarlison’s second-half brace saw Brazil defeat Serbia 2-0 to top Group G at 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Having wasted numerous chances in the opening 62 minutes, Brazil took the lead through a 63rd minute rebound strike from Richarlison.
The Tottenham forward then collected his second goal just 10 minutes later with a bicycle-kick on the turn to ultimately send Brazil top of Group G.
Switzerland sit second in the group after Breel Embolo swept in a 48th minute winner from Xherdan Shaqiri’s low cross to beat Cameroon, although Embolo refused to celebrate against his birth country.
A competitve start saw the first decent chance fall to Brazil in the 10th minute, as Neymar picked up a direct pass into the box, but the ball was dispossessed and cleared as he tried to swivel sideways along the box into space to create a shot.
Vinicius Junior three minutes later broke forward to the goal line but his pullback pass was blocked, with the following corner punched over by Vanja Milinkovic-Savic who then saved the follow-up corner.
Milinkovic-Savic then comfortably saved shots from Casemiro and Vinicus either side of Dusan Tadic’s cross towards Aleksandar Mitrovic, which was saved by Alisson as both teams struggled to nail their end product.
Ten minutes from the break, Raphinha missed a chance to fire Brazil ahead as Milinkovic-Savic saved his shot, following an one-two passing move with Lucas Paqueta.
Vinicius Junior then saw a 41st minute chance denied as he briefly conceded possession to Nikola Milenkovic, who fumbled control which allowed Vinicius Junior to collect but the Serbian recovered to tighten the gap which led to the subsequential shot rolling wide of goal.
Neither team eventually were able to break the deadlock before half-time and headed into the break still goalless.
Brazil though came back out and dominated the early stages of the second half as Neymar won a free-kick in the 49th minute, yet was only able to clip the wall and the subsequent corner was cleared.
Neymar six minutes later picked up a direct pass from Vinicius Junior but was only able to fire wide of the near-left corner of goal.
Alex Sandro and Vinicius Junior both then wasted chances in the 60th minute as Sandro’s shot hit the left post before Vinicius Junior curled wide seconds later.
Brazil’s pressure however ultimately paid off in the 63rd minute as Neymar broke forward towards the left but Vinicus Junior swept in and his shot was blocked by Milinkovic-Savic, only for Richarlison to react quickly to poke in the rebound ball.
Serbia then went close to an 69th minute equaliser from a corner as Strahinja Pavlovic headed over in a rare chance.
Richarlison four minutes later gathered Vinicius Junior’s cross and on the turn, he bicycle kicked his shot into the far left corner, which doubled the five-time champions’ lead.
Casemiro then missed a 81st minute chance to add a third goal for Brazil as he rifled his shot from Gabriel Jesus’ pass onto the top right corner of the bar.
Brazil ultimately cruised to victory in the end to go top of Group G with Serbia sat rock-bottom, whilst Switzerland sit second following their narrow win over Cameroon.
Brazil will now meet Switzerland on Monday 28 November at 7pm AST local time, whilst Serbia face Cameroon that same day at 1pm AST.
Ronaldo Fires Portugal Top Of Group H
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first male player to score at five World Cups with a 65th minute opening penalty, as Portugal defeated Ghana 3-2 in a second-half thriller to top Group H.
Bruno Fernandes then provided assists for Joao Felix and Rafael Leao’s goals in-between strikes from Ghana’s Andre Ayew and Osman Bukhari.
South Korea and Uruguay sit second and third respectively after the pair played out an entertaining goalless draw.
Brazil: Alisson, Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro, Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta (Fred 75′), Raphinha (Martinelli 87′), Neymar (Antony 80′), Vinicius Junior (Rodrygo 76′), Richarlison (Jesus 79′)
Substitutes: Fred, Weverton, Dani Alves, Eder Militao, Fabinho, Alex Telles, Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Rodrygo, Everton Ribeiro, Ederson, Bremer, Pedro, Gabriel Martinelli
Serbia: Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, Milos Veljkovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic, Andrija Zivkovic (Radonjic 57′), Sasa Lukic (Lazovic 66′), Nemanja Gudelj (Ilic 57′), Filip Mladenovic (Vlahovic 66′), Dusan Tadic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Maksimovic 83′)
Substitutes: Marko Dmitrovic, Strahinja Erakovic, Nemanja Maksimovic, Nemanja Radonjic, Luka Jovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Stefan Mitrovic, Srdan Babic, Filip Kostic, Dusan Vlahovic, Uros Racic, Filip Djuricic, Darko Lazovic, Ivan Ilic, Marko Grujic
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)