Serbia vs. Brazil - Football Match Report

Costa in action for Brazil. Image PA

Costa in action for Brazil. Image PA

Brazil comfortably reached the World Cup last 16 after Paulinho and Thiago Silva scored in each half to give them a 2-0 win over Serbia who were eliminated on Wednesday.

Cape Town - Brazil secured their passage to the 2018 Soccer World Cup Round of 16 as Group E winners after defeating an outclassed Serbia side 2-0 at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.

And yet it was not the optimum performance of a Brazilian side tipped to win the tournament but it was a side that looked promising, exciting and entertaining, completely different from the side that labored against Switzerland and Costa Rica in the opening two games.

Serbia needed to win to qualify and rocked their opponents with a flurry of second-half chances.

Ten minutes into the match, the South Americans were dealt a blow as Marcelo was forced off with an injury and replaced by Felipe Luis.

The wind was taken out of Serbia's sails and Brazil confidently saw out the final stages, Stojkovic doing well to thwart Neymar in stoppage time as the Selecao avoided the humiliating group-stage exit that befell fellow heavyweights and defending champions Germany earlier in the day.

The breakthrough came 10 minutes before the break when Philippe Coutinho picked out Paulinho's run with an exquisite angled through ball from the left and his fellow Barcelona midfielder delicately flicked the ball over Stojkovic.

The second goal for Brazil eventually arrived after 68 minutes as Thiago Silva lost his marker before glancing home a header at the near post.

Mitrovic towered over right-back Fagner near the 65th minute but only to fire his header straight at Alisson with the entire goal to shoot at.

As for Brazil, they just need a draw to progress to the knockout stages.

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