Serene from start to finish, Brazil managed their first lap in Qatar by dominating a disappointing team from Serbia (2-0). Richarlison offered himself a double.
By Andrea Chazy, at Lusail Stadium
Brazil 2-0 Serbia
Goals: Richarlison (62e), (73e) for Brazil
After the varying fortunes of England, Argentina, France or even Spain and Germany, the whole world was waiting to see which Brazil had come down to this 2022 edition of the World Cup. . Faced with a Serbia that looked like an infernal trap, the Brazilians actually mastered their subject, were patient, before blasting the opposing rearguard in the second half. At the final whistle, the score of 2-0 is also rather poorly paid for the five-time world champions.
In a Lusai Stadium all draped in yellow and green, we quickly guess the path that this Brazil-Serbia will take: Tite’s gang is there to attack because they don’t like to defend too much, while the squad of Dragan Stojković – although comfortable in general with the pelota – don’t be reluctant to defend well before taking a counterattack. The start of the Brazilian match is a little shy, the Serbs stay in place and control the movements of Neymar, Paquetá or Richarlison. It was not until the thirteenth minute, and a direct corner from the Brazilian number 10, that a slight thrill passed through the ranks of the thousand fans from the Balkans present in Doha.
The Selection persists in passing in the axis, stumbles on an iron defense and an imperial Pavlović-Milenković pair 80% of the time. There are only two times that the Serbian lock could have jumped: on a bright pass from Thiago Silva to Vinícius Júnior well read by Vanja Milinković-Savić, then on a pass to the goalkeeper from Richarlison yet in an ideal position. On the other hand, the technical insufficiency of the attacking midfielders illustrated by Dušan Tadić prevents Aleksandar Mitrović from making the blow of the white queen to Alisson. At the break, inevitably, the score is logically 0-0.
As soon as the locker room returns, Brazil presses the mushroom. Raphinha stumbles on Milinković-Savić after stealing the ball from Gudelj. On his left side, Vinícius causes headaches, but his center is poorly taken over by Neymar, yet alone at the penalty spot. The trend is there: Brazil is pushing, getting closer even when Alex Sandro catches the Serbian left upright. The deliverance comes just after, when the Real winger forces Milinković-Savić to push the ball back in the axis following a sudden strike. Richarlison looms behind Pavlović’s back and delivers the people auriverde (1-0, 63e).
Dragan Stojković tried to react, brought in Dusan Vlahović to bring danger, but nothing helped: Brazil had the game in hand and weren’t going to let go. Better he goes break in a very beautiful way with once again Vinícius as a puncher, and once again Richarlison as bomber which doubles the bet in an acrobatic way (2-0, 73e). Serbia is definitely put on standby and is not far from bypassing again, but Casemiro finds the bar, then Fred the gloves of the Serbian goalkeeper. Neymar’s injury exit is the only black spot on the Brazilian side, but it is of course a few late “olé” that the Auriverdes complete their first Qatari performance successfully.
Brazil (4-3-3): Alisson – Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Danilo, Alex Sandro – Casemiro, Lucas Paquetá (Fred, 74e), Neymar (Antony, 80e) – Vinicius Junior (Rodrygo, 74e), Raphinha (Martinelli, 87e), Richarlison (Gabriel Jesus, 79e). Coach: Titus.
Serbia (5-3-2): V. Milinković-Savić – Milenković, Pavlović, Veljković, Zivković (Radonjić, 57e), Mladenović (Vlahović, 65e) – Lukić (Lazović, 67e), Gudelj (Ilic, 57e), S. Milinković-Savić – Mitrović (Maksimović, 83e), Tadic. Coach: Dragan Stojkovic.
By Andrea Chazy, at Lusail Stadium