The five-time champions Brazil aim to come out all guns blazing to secure a berth in last 16
28 June, 2018, 07:30
Tite's team went into the game knowing a draw would be enough to see them through, while the Serbs needed a win to guarantee progression for them to the last 16 in Russian Federation.
The Selecao started positively, but had to replace Marcelo with Filipe Luis, who only returned from a broken leg last month, in the 10th minute, the Real Madrid left-back grimacing as he hobbled down the tunnel with what was later confirmed to be a back spasm.
After Germany's exit and Argentina's nerve-shredding escape, Brazil made more serene World Cup progress today when goals by Paulinho and Thiago Silva earned them a 2-0 win over an outclassed Serbia and a knockout tie against Mexico.
World Cup - Follow the Football match between Serbia and Brazil live with Eurosport.
Philippe Coutinho skips out of the tackle from Nemanja Matic during Brazil's 2-0 win over Serbia.
Serbia's reliable threats Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Aleksandar Kolarov and Aleksandar Mitrovic were sniffing around but were short of any openings.
Brazil conjured the opener from nothing when a beautifully lofted pass from Philippe Coutinho found Paulinho, who flicked the ball over Stojkovic's reach on 36 minutes to make it 1-0 at the break.
Mitrovic was presented with a golden opportunity to equalise four minutes later after Alisson punched a cross from the right straight at the striker, whose header came back off Silva and rebounded into the keeper's arms. He then jumped above Serbia's defense from a corner for Brazil's second goal. The Serbs ended third in the group on three points, a disappointing campaign for them and their fans in Moscow after a bright opening game win against Costa Rica.
Serbia pushed for an equaliser but lacked the cutting edge and were caught by a classic suck-punch when Thiago Silva headed home powerfully from an outswinging Neymar corner on 68 minutes.
And when it looked Serbia were growing into the game midway the second half, Brazil snuffed the life out of coach Mladen Krstaji?'s boys.
Others in the last 16 will be wary - the five-time winners mean business in Russian Federation.
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Tite later addressed the media to say he would have backed his first instinct and offered his support to Neymar. According to reports, Neymar told the whistleblower: "Don't touch me" several times and also swore at him.
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