Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 on the FIFA World Cup with two second half targets from Richarlison. AP
Doha: Brazil’s winner arrived within the 73rd minute and the way: with flicks, extra flicks, a twist and supreme acrobatics, all executed at pace and with precision. It was a superlative, nearly unreal aim, a piece of the very best artwork and a tribute to the wealthy custom of Brazilian soccer.
After all of the hurrying and harrying by the Serbians and the soccer in redux that they performed, a reactionary sport, Richarlison and Brazil had responded in type. It was a PlayStation aim or the form of strike featured in an airport advert. Above all, it was a reminder of how good Brazil will be.
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Quickly after Richarlison’s second aim, coach Tite substituted Lucas Paqueta for Fred to strengthen his midfield, a second that summed up one of many biggest conundrums for the Brazil coach within the final 4 years: his quest for steadiness.
In any case, it was déja vu for Tite: Serbia and a massed protection that with all its robustness and staunchness posed a singular query of the coach and his Brazil, one that they had confronted on the World Cup in Russia: how will you play in opposition to deep-lying defenses? It nervous Tite and it did on Thursday as effectively on the colossal, gold-clad Lusail Stadium. Inside, the supporters remodeled the venue right into a sea of shimmering gold shirts.
Tite had his reply and it was a stunning one – he fielded Paqueta in midfield and never the extra defensive-minded Fred, leaving Casemiro as the only real defensive midfielder to protect the backline in opposition to a formidable opponent. It was a alternative for progressive soccer, for the entrance foot. The Brazil coach picked 5 attacking gamers.
Neymar wears his Brazil shirt again on through the World Cup Group G match between Brazil and Serbia. AP
But, he may need been reluctant. 4 years in the past in Kazan, the graveyard of the nice, Belgium eradicated Brazil in a quarter-final for the ages, as a result of, partially, Brazil’s midfield had been too uncovered. It was a traumatic expertise for Tite and his backroom workers.
To handle the imbalance, Tite strengthened his formation with a second defensive midfielder however Brazil by no means rekindled the identical fluency. In reality, Tite was taking part in out the match in opposition to Belgium time and again. It was as if each opponent Brazil confronted was by some means, in some way, Belgium in disguise.
The Brazilians breezed by means of the World Cup qualifiers and got here into the match in red-hot kind, unbeaten in fifteen matches, however Serbia represented the final word take a look at: a dodged European opponent with sufficient class to carry Brazil, no less than for an hour.
With ten behind the road of the ball, the Serbians typically clutched and grabbed after which chased the Brazilians. The sport obtained so bodily that at one level Neymar needed to cease and put his shirt again. It was maybe the take a look at Brazil wanted after final taking part in European opponents in 2019.
Within the first half, the five-time world champions laboured. Brazil had been choosing away at Serbia all too slowly. It was anti-climactic, however maybe that, with the good thing about hindsight, was to overlook the purpose: Brazil had been probing and poking, pulling and dragging the Serbians out of place. Who in spite of everything can mark Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Jr. and Richarlison on a regular basis?
Brazil exploded after the break, first with Richarlison’s brace, his second aim an early contender for aim of the match, after which working riot in a stunning present by the entrance 4 and various substitutes – Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Anthony and Rodrygo. They had been scary, devastating and joyous. Brazil had 24 makes an attempt and the Serbian had been hanging on for pricey life.
The victory was not merely emphatic, however nearly regal, the yellow shirts overwhelming the overworked Serbian defence. This was Brazil at its best, the Brazil everybody longed for. It was additionally vindication of Tite’s braveness in preferring Paqueta over Fred. That alternative proved pivotal as a result of within the second half Paqueta adjusted his place and allowed Brazil higher fluency.
Neymar grabs his ankle after an harm throughout match between Brazil and Serbia. AP
It was the proper night for the South Individuals, however for Neymar’s harm: a sprained ankle. The Brazilian talisman was in tears, maybe fearing or suspecting that his match can be over, regardless that Brazil’s group physician and Tite provided reassuring phrases in regards to the gravity of Neymar’s harm.
He stays the lodestar of the group, even when he’s not the middle of gravity. Brazil have moved away from Neymar-dependency with the emergence of Vinicius Jr. and different younger stars. Nevertheless, can Brazil win the match with out Neymar? That’s an altogether totally different downside and one which Tite may wish to deal with within the subsequent few days.
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