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Brazil’s Time to Shine at World Cup 2018

Brazil’s Time to Shine at World Cup 2018

Serbia 0-2 Brazil

 Brazil beat Serbia with a goal in each half to stroll into the round of 16 in some style. Paulinho and Thiago Silva were on target as the Samba Boys put on their best show yet at World Cup 2018.

There was everything to play for in Group E as Serbia and Brazil kicked off in the Otkrytiye Stadium in Moscow, as these two teams and Switzerland all have a chance to qualify. Serbia really needed to win this game and that irritated them as they wouldn’t be in this position with the odds stacked against them if they had been given a clear penalty against Switzerland.

We have seen plenty of incredible action and drama over the past two weeks but the biggest World Cup 2018 news of all came earlier today when Germany, the World Champions, crashed out after losing to Korea. It seemed unlikely, but if Brazil messed up tonight, that would make an even bigger hash of many World Cup 2018 betting tips!

This World Cup has developed a habit of delivering the unexpected, but Brazil managed to avoid a humiliation with ease.

Tite was still without two key players following the injuries to Douglas Costa and Danilo but stuck with the same side which beat Costa Rica thanks to two late goals.

Meanwhile, Mladen Krstajic made three changes from the side which lost to a late Switzerland goal, bringing in Antonio Rukavina, Milos Veljkovic and Adem Ljajic to replace Ivanovic, Tosic and Milivojevic.

Highlights of the game

Serbia keeper Vladimir Stojkovic knew he was in for a busy night as early as the fourth minute when he had to come off his line to deny Gabriel Jesus who was clean through on goal. Jesus is yet to score at the World Cup and was looked determined to put that right.

Tite had to make an early change when Marcelo put the ball out of play looking in some distress, and he was replaced by Filipe Luis.

Captain Courageous Aleksandar Kolarov said this was the most important game of his career and led the early Serbia threat, delivering dangerous balls into Brazil’s penalty box. But the Samba Boys were on their game at the back, giving the flair players a chance to make merry up front.

Neymar brought a world-class save from Stojkovic after Jesus had put him in, and then Jesus himself was clean through again, but his shot was deflected wide.

Then, on 36 minutes happened the breakthrough. Philippe Coutinho was in acres of space and had all the time he needed to launch a beautiful ball over to Paulinho and the striker did the rest, lobbing Stojkovic to send the Samba fans wild.

Serbia emerged for the second half knowing they needed to score twice, but couldn’t afford to give Brazil much space. And a bit of Manchester rivalry surfaced as United’s Nemanja Matic scythed down City’s Jesus to earn an obvious yellow card.

The Serbs almost drew level when Ljajic put a dangerous cross into the box and Miranda sliced the ball just over the bar to his immense relief. As play swung to the other end, Neymar broke clear but Stojkovic was equal to his low hard shot.

Aleksandar Mitrovic couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored on 62 minutes when Brazil keeper Alisson palmed the ball onto his head and Thiago Silva blocked without knowing a lot about it. Then, as Brazil briefly rocked, Dusan Tadic crossed for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to shoot over. And then moments later, Rukavina put the perfect ball in for Mitrovic, but the Fulham striker’s header was grabbed by Alisson.

And then, on 68 minutes, Thiago Silva showed Mitrovic how to do it, meeting a Neymar corner and planting it firmly into the net.

That was 2-0 and game over.

Brazil stroked the ball about beautifully while Serbia huffed and puffed. Jesus handed Neymar a good chance, but the PSG star hit his shot into the ground and over the crossbar. And there was still time for him to have another two efforts but Stojkovic was equal to both.

The Samba Boys are clicking through the gears.

Key statistics

Neymar has still only once been on the losing side in a competitive game for Brazil and, for any of the doubters, this is 14 unbeaten for the Samba Boys.

Brazil bossed the game with 58 per cent possession and won the shot count by 14 to 10. For all Serbia’s effort, the cutting edge just wasn’t there as Alisson was only called on twice to make a save.

What’s next?

The SBOBET odds showed just how likely tonight’s outcome was, with a dual forecast on Brazil and Switzerland as low as 1.09. The Swiss take second place after drawing with Costa Rica.

After the high drama at the Kazan Arena, Group F finished up with Sweden at the top, ahead of Mexico on goal difference. So Brazil will face Mexico at Samara on Monday.

Make sure you’re there!

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.





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Stuart Wilkin
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