World Cup: Brazil tops group after defeating Serbia 2-0

World Cup: Brazil tops group after defeating Serbia 2-0
Copyright  REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
By Jordan Jones

Brazil will play Mexico in the Round of Sixteen after finishing as group winners after a routine victory over Serbia

Brazil will play Mexico in the Round of 16 after finishing as group winners following a routine 2-0 victory over Serbia. 

Switzerland has also advanced group E after a draw with Costa Rica earlier in the day. 

Real Madrid full-back Marcelo Vieira had to be replaced by Filipe Luis early on, as the player departed the field gingerly.

Brazil's talisman Neymar had Serbia keeper Dragan Stojkovic on high alert, as he palmed away his shot.

Philippe Coutinho found his Barcelona team-mate Paulinho in space for Brazil's opening goal, as the midfielder dinked the ball over the Serbian keeper.

Neymar in the second half nearly doubled Brazil's lead after a break on the counter-attack, but Stojkovic saved at his near post.

Serbian pressure should have brought a goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic. Antonio Rukavina's cross was palmed by Allison only to the Mitrovic, but his tame header from yards out was blocked by David Silva.

Brazil breathed a sigh of relief in the 68th minute, Thiago Silva headed home from a Neymar corner to double their advantage. That goal killed any momentum Serbia had, after initially looking like they were going to threaten Brazil's lead.

Neymar almost registered his name on the score sheet, but Stojkovic came off his line to deny him his goal. 

Five takeaways from the match

Brazil fans continue the anthem

The music for the Brazilian anthem ended early, but that didn't stop both fans and players continuing the anthem as they passionately belted out Hino Nacional Brasileiro.

Coutinho the man

The Barcelona man was the one who was a key component in breaking down the sturdy Serbian defence. His superb pass found his Barcelona teammate, putting it on a plate for the opening goal.


Allison needs to work on crosses

A number of times, Brazil's goalkeeper had to come out and deal with a number of Serbian corners, each time he looked a bit troubled by them. Brazil needs to be wary of physical sides if they are to reach the final.

Neymar frustrated

For a player of Neymar's calibre, he'll be disappointed not to have got on to the score sheet, having had a number of chances. He did, however, get an assist. Perhaps he can save his best now for the knockouts.

Brazil can mix and match

Tite's side had to deal with a Serbian defence, which was hard to break down. With a one-goal lead, they had to protect that and they did. A second clean sheet of the World Cup will give Brazil's backline confidence.

We saw some Samba style brought back tonight, as they controlled possession after their second, but we should applaud their ability to deal with Serbia's attack.

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