DOHA, Qatar – Brazil momentarily draw 0-0 with Serbia during the second half at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in the second match of Group G of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Canarinha press with everything, but fail to open the scoring.
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Tite put all the meat on the grill with Neymar commanding the Brazilian attack along with Vinícius Jr., Raphina and Richarlison at the tip. While the Serbian coach Dragan Stojkovic opted for Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic on the offensive front.
Luxury play by Brazil, but Milinkovic-Savic saves Serbia again
Neymar received the first foul of the match and Serbian defender Strahinja Pavlovic received the first yellow card of the match at minute 6.
At minute 14 the clearest of the game came with a corner kick from Neymar that was going for an Olympic goal if it weren’t for the clearance of the Serbian goalkeeper Milinkovic-Savic.
In a corner kick, Brazil comes close to a goal, but cannot penetrate the goal of Serbia
Vinícius Jr. had another clear goal, but again the Serbian goalkeeper prevented Brazil’s goal in minute 27. Canarinha is the team that puts the most pressure on, but Serbia’s resistance is iron.
At minute 34, Brazil’s clearest goal chance came. After some team play, Raphinha received the ball on the edge of the Serbian box and kicked a weak shot with his left foot that Milinkovic-Savic managed to save without problems.
Brazil went to rest without being able to open the scoring. Tite’s squad is the one that controlled and attacked the most throughout the first half, but the Serbs resisted until the last minute.
In the first half, Brazil got 58.6% possession of the ball, had four corner kicks and two shots on goal against Serbia in both sets.
Raphinha again missed another goal early in the second half. While at 48, Neymar received a foul from Gudelj on the edge of the area and for that he took the yellow card. The referee gave the South Americans a free kick that was taken by the same 10 and deflected by the Serbian barrier.
Neymar has not spoken in public since he arrived at the World Cup. And he hasn’t had to.
And it is that his intentions are clear.
The Paris Saint-Germain star made sure of that when he posted a photo on social media with a sixth star — digitally added — on his pants around the Brazil logo during the flight to Qatar, a reference to the highly anticipated sixth Cup title. of the World, a record for the South American team.
“This is our dream,” said Brazilian striker Richarlison. “Neymar posted that photo because he also owns it. He wants to win it and we know how eager he is to win it. He can do what he wants. It is his dream. If Neymar is happy here, we will be happy. That is the most important”.
It’s the general sentiment: Brazil’s fate depends on Neymar’s state of fitness and mentality.
The Selecao will start their journey in Qatar on Thursday against a Serbia that has not lived up to expectations in major tournaments.
Neymar arrives in fine form after a series of injuries since Russia 2018, when Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the quarterfinals. His only problem so far has been showing up one day late for the pre-World Cup meeting in Turin, Italy, due to a problem with his flight.
“Neymar arrives at this important competition at a very good level,” captain Thiago Silva said on Wednesday. “He had a different preparation than in other cups, without injuries or worries… he is a much better prepared Neymar.”
The coach of Brazil Tite should have all his players available for the first meeting. The only question is whether he will play with midfielder Lucas Paquetá or opt for a more attacking team with Vinícius Júnior accompanying Neymar.
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Tite did not want to confirm the alienation to the journalists “so as not to give the rival the opportunity to know.”
But he clarified that he does not believe in “filling with attackers or filling with defenders. I understand that the balance point is in the midfield, in the movements”.
Neymar has scored 75 goals for Brazil and needs just two more to equal Pele’s record. And what better place to do it than in front of a global audience at soccer’s biggest tournament, especially for a player that Qatari-owned PSG bought for $230 million in a record-breaking deal in 2017.
Regarding the favoritism of his Brazil, Tite affirmed that “we dream of having a great cup and being champions… Pressure is inevitable.”
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Serbia, meanwhile, are aiming to progress past the group stage for the first time in their fourth World Cup appearance as an independent nation. They have also failed to qualify for a European Championship five times.
Many of Serbia’s players were part of the team that defeated Brazil in the U20 World Cup final in 2015, and the team that defeated France in the U19 Euro final two years earlier.
But Aleksandar Mitrovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Nemanja Maksimovic and Andrija Zivkovic, who were part of those teams, have failed to replicate the same successes at senior level.
With the addition of 22-year-old centre-forward Dusan Vlahovic, who has scored 50 goals in all competitions for Fiorentina and Juventus in the last two seasons, Serbia could finally have everything in their power to fulfill their potential.
Another thing is that Serbia has the necessary defensive capacity to contain the battalion of forwards from Brazil.
Switzerland and Cameroon complete Group G.
“We have a difficult group, one of the most difficult, but at the end of the day this is a challenge for everyone to show that we can (play),” Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic said. “Expectations are high.”
Not as high, however, as Neymar’s.