Richarlison Brings Brazil to Life in the Second Half, Defeats Serbia 2-0 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
It’s safe to say, the canary yellow shirt is perhaps the most famous in the entire sports world. The boys in Brazil had a lot on their plate this Thanksgiving – and we don’t just mean turkey.
After an exciting Group G brawl at Lusail Stadium, No. 1 ranked Brazil defeated their counterparts in Serbia 2-0.
Serbia’s Vanja Milinković-Savić managed to disrupt Neymar, who left with an ankle injury, and Vinicius Junior’s first few attempts at goal in the starting minutes. One of the closest opportunities to score was in the 28th minute with a Neymar-Junior duo corner kick and later a header by Casemiro that landed straight to Junior in the center.
Raphinha also had an opportunity to score in the 30th minute after a short corner kick that came right back to him, but the winger’s attempt was no match for Milinković-Savić ball-handling at goal.
He had another attempt in the 34th minute but the short kick right inside the goal box landed comfortably in Milinković-Savić’s hand – his third save of the day so far.
Serbia’s Andrija Zivkovic had a few opportunities himself, especially towards the end of the first half, but nothing was good enough to get past Alisson Becker’s hands at goal.
In the 40th minute, Junior had a solid run and shot on goal before Milenkovic made it back in time to make the tackle, but again, not enough to land anything.
It was an exceptional first half for Serbia, the 21-ranked team, who held off Brazil, ranked No. 1 and favored to win the tournament, for 45 minutes on Thanksgiving Day. Serbia has never even gotten out of a Group Stage of the World Cup since their independence from Yugoslavia. Will they change history this year?
It was a scoreless first half in Lusail – the fourth of the day and the eighth of the tournament.
The second half began with another close attempt for Raphinha, perhaps his closest so far, quickly followed by a short run by Neymar, which resulted in a free kick just outside the box and a yellow card for Serbia. With Raphinha alongside Neymar as a decoy, the kick amounted to nothing and the next play resulted in two Serbians down.
In the 59th minute Brazil’s Alex Sandro had a great strike that came right off the post – the closest opportunity for the canary yellow so far. With 30 minutes to go, Brazil led in 13 shots to one, though no score on the board.
Neymar’s effort finally paid off in the 62nd minute when his short pass to Junior resulted in a tap from Richarlison and finally a goal on the board for Brazil.
And just 10 minutes later, Richarlison enhanced the cushion to 2-0 after an incredible assist by Junior. The 25-year-old forward popped up the ball over his shoulder with a scissor kick into the corner of the back of the net. Two attempts … two goals.
Brazil has won five World Cups (2002, 1994, 1970, 1962, 1958), while this is Serbia’s third World Cup appearance. Their last meeting was in a group stage during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where Brazil defeated Serbia 2-0.
Serbia will face Cameroon on Monday, Nov. 28 at 5 a.m. ET at Al Janoub Stadium.
Brazil will face Switzerland on Monday, Nov. 28 at 11 a.m. ET at Stadium 974.