Richarlison lit up the World Cup with a moment of Brazilian magic as tournament favorites overcame stubborn resistance from Serbia to open their campaign with an impressive win.
Brazil had to play a patient game to break through an organized Serbian rear guard but forced the breakthrough after 62 minutes when Tottenham striker Richarlison came in from close range after Vanja Milinkovic-Savic saved Vinicius’ effort Junior.
Richarlison’s crowning achievement came 11 minutes later, initially poorly controlling a pass from Vinicius but readjusting brilliantly to take the airway and fire home an acrobatic right-footed finish.
It was no more than Brazil – backed by the massive ranks of their yellow-clad fans – deserved as they dominated throughout, with Alex Sandro and Casemiro hitting the woodwork and Milinkovic-Savic also saving superbly from Fred.
Brazil’s performance was worrying for their rivals, as was the sight of Gabriel Jesus, Antony and Gabriel Martinelli coming off the bench in a powerful show of team strength, although there was the worrying sight of Neymar stalking leaves after taking a hit.