9:27 PM GMT
Gabriele MarcottiSenior Writer, ESPN FC
LUSAIL, Qatar -- Two goals from Richarlison propelled Brazil past a stubborn Serbia, 2-0, successful the Selecao's opening crippled successful Group G astatine the 2022 World Cup.
It took Brazil manager Tite's men a portion to get going and, connected a nighttime erstwhile Neymar was subdued, it was near to Vinicius Jr. and Richarlison to transportation the broadside to victory.
Here is ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti with absorption and investigation from Qatar.
1. After mediocre archetypal half, Brazil spark to life
It took Brazil a portion to get going against a well-organized Serbia, arsenic evidenced by a archetypal fractional that recorded the lowest xG full of the tourney frankincense far. And portion you person to springiness recognition to the opposition, it was besides a archetypal fractional erstwhile Brazil's originative outlets were silenced.
Raphinha flickered aboriginal and past disappeared, Neymar could not find abstraction and rowed with Luka Milenkovic and Nemanja Gudelj, Lucas Paqueta couldn't find the measurement of his passing, and Richarlison was well-marshalled by the backmost three.
But shot is besides a crippled of idiosyncratic battles. Vinicius, possibly the astir accordant attacking threat, enactment successful the changeable from wide that Vanja Milinkovic-Savic spilled into Richarlison's way for the opener. And, of course, the 2nd extremity was each Richarlison genius and improvisation. You don't crippled program for that benignant of happening and Brazil manager Tite knows it.
Against Serbia it was capable and, of course, they besides deed the woodwork doubly and could person scored more. But Brazil volition request to rise their crippled comparative to what we saw successful the archetypal half.
It's bully to person a good of idiosyncratic endowment to which you tin turn, but it's nicer inactive to enforce your corporate volition connected the opposition.
2. Serbia's astute crippled program astir works
The crippled program from Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic worked for a half. He clogged the mediate of the park, helium got Serbia to beryllium carnal and choky without defending excessively deep, and helium constricted Brazil's attacking menace to idiosyncratic forays, which were usually rapidly snuffed out.
The occupation was that determination was a chiseled deficiency of gait successful his 3 astir precocious players: Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. That meant going connected the counterattack was ever going to beryllium tricky -- astatine champion Serbia could anticipation to triumph possession successful modulation and clasp up the ball, pushing guardant arsenic a team.
But connected a nighttime erstwhile nary of the 3 were clicking, it became excessively casual for Brazil to support that -- and, with the payment of hindsight, you wonderment if a fit, mobile Dusan Vlahovic mightiness person been a amended option.
The large man's lone quality successful the past period was a 45 infinitesimal stint successful a affable against Bahrain past week. Maybe Stojjkovic is easing him into the tournament, knowing that helium tin beryllium much of a difference-maker against the likes of Switzerland and Cameroon.
3. Brazil's ample enactment puts stamp connected Qatar
Brazil whitethorn good beryllium the astir fashionable nationalist squad successful this portion of the word. The Lusail's wavy vessel was a oversea of yellowish and the subway thrust up from cardinal Doha was teeming with the green-and-gold.
Many were Brazilians who had made the trip, but galore were simply locals who person embraced the Selecao, whether due to the fact that of Neymar's popularity oregon the 5 World Cups they've won oregon the information that they are, erstwhile again, favorites.
Brazil being the neutrals' favourite is thing new, of course. No state is arsenic intimately identified with the World Cup arsenic the Green-and-Gold. It does consciousness though, possibly due to the fact that of immoderate of the hostility betwixt the European associations and the Qatari organisers, that Brazil arsenic a squad are much liked than immoderate other.
Whatever the case, it seems Brazil volition bask home-field vantage passim this World Cup. Probably much truthful than hosts Qatar, judging by the mode the Al Bayt stadium emptied erstwhile they were 2 goals down during the opener.
Brazil: Alisson 6, Danilo 7, Marquinjhos 7, Thiago Silva 7, Alex Sandro 8, Casemiro 7, Lucas Paqueta 5, Raphinha 5, Neymar 6, Vinicius 8, Richarlison 7
Subs: Fred 6, Martinelli 6, Antony 6, Rodrygo 6, Gabriel Jesus 6
Serbia: V. Miilinkovic-Savic 7, Milenkovic 6, Velkjovic 6, Pavlovic 7, Zivkovic 5, S. Milinkovic-Savic 5, Gudelj 7, Lukic 7, Mladenovic 7, Tadic 5, Mitrovic 5
Subs: Radonjic 6, Ilic 6, Lazovic 6, Vlahovic 6, Maksimovic 6
Best and worst performers
BEST: Vinicius, Brazil
Yes, Richarlison scored 2 goals, 1 of them item reel stuff. But for consistency passim the match, l'm picking Vinicius, whose accelerations down the helping were a changeless destabilizing unit adjacent during a archetypal fractional erstwhile astir of Brazil's onslaught went quiet.
WORST: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia
He was expected to clasp up the shot and let Serbia to compression forward, but Marquinhos and Thiago Silva kept him astatine bay, neutralizing some his physicality and his quality to find space. Maybe he's not fit, but if this is going to beryllium his level, it makes much consciousness to commencement Vlahovic, who astatine slightest offers a menace moving down the defneders.
Highlights and notable moments
The archetypal fractional was a spot of a snooze fest: it wasn't conscionable scoreless, it featured the lowest xG, oregon expected goals, of immoderate archetypal fractional successful the World Cup truthful far, meaning bully scoring chances were fewer and acold between.
But Brazil sprang to beingness successful the 2nd half, uncovering a unsafe infinitesimal successful the archetypal infinitesimal aft the break, and past a extremity from Richarlison successful the 62nd minute.
The lone extremity anyone volition beryllium talking about, however, is Richarlison's 2nd goal: a flying acrobatic side-struck volley. Richarlison popped the shot up to himself -- possibly with a mistaken, atrocious archetypal interaction -- and helium finished it disconnected beautifully.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022
After the match: What the players and managers said
Check backmost shortly...
Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)
The archetypal fractional ended with Brazil generated an xG, oregon expected goals, of 0.21 whilst Serbia lone generated 0.04. That was the lowest xG successful a archetypal fractional truthful acold successful this World Cup.
Richarlison is the 4th subordinate to people the archetypal 2 goals astatine a azygous World Cup for Brazil, joining Careca (1990), Neymar (2014) and Philippe Coutinho (2018).
Neymar took the brunt of 9 fouls retired of the 12 the Brazilian broadside suffered. Neymar's 9 fouls suffered were overmuch arsenic each different subordinate for some teams combined -- Serbia arsenic a suffered six total.
Brazil: Group G resumes connected Monday, Nov. 28, erstwhile Brazil volition look Switzerland astatine 11 a.m. ET. Then, Brazil look Cameroon connected Friday, Dec. 2 astatine 2 p.m. ET.
Serbia: Group G resumes connected Monday, Nov. 28, erstwhile Serbia volition look Cameroon astatine 5 a.m. ET. Then, Serbia look Switzerland connected Friday, Dec. 2 astatine 2 p.m. ET.