Richarlison stars as Brazil beat Serbia however Neymar suffers damage scare

Richarlison scored twice as event favourites Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 of their World Cup opener on Thursday, however the win was soured by an ankle damage to captain Neymar.

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The document five-time winners had toiled at instances within the first half however improved after the break on the Lusail Stadium and had been rewarded when Tottenham Hotspur striker Richarlison adopted in to attain the opener within the 62nd minute after a Vinicius Junior shot was saved.

Vinicius then arrange Richarlison to attain once more within the 73rd minute with a shocking acrobatic effort that’s absolutely the objective of the World Cup to date.

Nonetheless, Neymar was then compelled off with a sprained ankle that the Brazilian crew physician mentioned can be assessed over the subsequent 48 hours.

Accidents have hampered Neymar on the event prior to now and Brazil will hope his World Cup has not ended already, though coach Tite struck a constructive tone after the sport.

“You might be sure that Neymar goes to play within the World Cup,” mentioned Tite.

Thursday’s consequence continues Brazil’s very good document within the World Cup group stage, wherein their final defeat got here in 1998 towards Norway.

Tite’s aspect at the moment are already on high of Group G forward of Switzerland, who beat Cameroon 1-0 earlier and who Brazil meet subsequent.

“We performed effectively, particularly within the second half when our opponents began to tire and we took benefit of that,” mentioned Richarlison, who known as it “a boyhood dream come true” to attain the targets.

The scoreline was the identical as when these sides met within the group stage in 2018 however Brazil are decided to do much better than 4 years in the past, after they misplaced to Belgium within the quarter-finals.

They’ve come to Qatar because the favourites for a sixth title, 20 years after their final victory.

Different ends in the opening spherical of matches in Qatar served as a warning, with Argentina struggling a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on the identical stadium and Germany shedding to Japan.

Brazil would have identified to not take Serbia evenly, but it surely nonetheless would have been an enormous shock for them to lose at a floor the place they intend to return for the ultimate on December 18.

Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic mentioned his crew “fell away bodily” and added that accidents to key gamers, together with Juventus duo Dusan Vlahovic and Filip Kostic, hindered his aspect.

“We got here right here with a whole lot of accidents to cope with affecting key gamers. That’s the method it’s and we have now to face this truth,” he mentioned.

– Acrobatic –

Tite despatched out a really attack-minded aspect, with Neymar in assist of Richarlison whereas Raphinha and Vinicius occupied the wings and Lucas Paqueta added creativity in midfield.

Serbia did their greatest to frustrate Neymar, who come near scoring direct from an early nook that will have raised the roof on the magnificent Lusail Stadium, the place the stands had been crammed with yellow and inexperienced.

The perfect Brazilian moments within the first half got here when Thiago Silva’s defence-splitting move discovered Vinicius within the field, just for goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic to thwart the Actual Madrid man, and when Raphinha performed a one-two with Paqueta earlier than his shot was saved.

Barcelona winger Raphinha was concerned once more inside a minute of the restart when he hounded Nemanja Gudelj out of possession however was once more denied by the goalkeeper.

Nonetheless, Serbia’s resistance was damaged simply after the hour mark.

The warning had come when Alex Sandro lashed a left-foot shot off an upright and two minutes later the objective arrived.

Neymar arrange Vinicius for a shot that Milinkovic-Savic bought a hand to, however the ball broke to Richarlison who adopted in to attain.

Serbia responded by bringing on Vlahovic, however Brazil had now discovered their stride and the second objective when it got here was worthy of the most important stage.

A Vinicius cross with the surface of his proper boot was managed by Richarlison who then spun round and leapt to attain with an outrageous acrobatic effort.

Brazil may have scored extra, with Casemiro seeing a shot come again off the crossbar, however this was a promising begin, so long as Neymar’s damage is nothing critical.