Wednesday afternoon saw Serbia take on Brazil in Moscow at the Otkrytie Arena as the final match for Group E took place.
The South Americans have had a smooth run in the World Cup so far despite not scoring as many goals as they were expected to.
For the Serbs, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and captain Aleksandar Kolarov were carrying the team along with Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic.
With such an experienced midfield, Serbia were still lacking in a solid goalscorer, as Aleksandar Mitrovic failed to convert countless amounts of chances in the last three weeks.
From the start, Brazil seemed to be the dominant side but the Orlovi were quick in their defensive responses.
As Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus kept making runs, the Balkan backline were solid to keep him out.
It seemed that the Selecao were in for an early injury shock as Jesus went down in the 25th minute but he got up shortly.
Unfortunately, Brazil’s best defender, Marcelo, had to be substituted with Filipe Luis as he came down with some sort of sickness.
The 30-year-old went to the sideline to seek help from the Brazilian medical team.
The Selecao finally made a breakthrough in the 36th minute after Paulinho scored a half volley assisted by Brazil’s best player so far, Philippe Coutinho.
Though many eyes are on Neymar this tournament, the former Liverpool attacking midfielder has given Brazil the edge in narrow victories.
Coutinho scooped the ball up to the path of Paulinho, who then smashed it passed Vladimir Stojkovic.
Despite conceding, Serbia did well in controlling their middle as Milinkovic-Savic and Matic provided balance while Adem Ljajic and Dusan Tadic made the runs.
The first half ended 1-0 to Brazil.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the Brazilian medical staff confirmed that Marcelo suffered from a back spasm.
Both sides came close to scoring with Ljajic, Antonio Rukavina and Tadic getting into advanced positions while the likes of Neymar gave a swift response.
Brazil sealed their win just past the hour mark from a set piece.
Neymar took the corner in the 68th minute to meet the head of captain Thiago Silva. His explosive header rattled the back of the net.
Mitrovic and Neymar had plenty of good chances for the remainder of the game but couldn’t manage to get their name on the team sheet.
Brazil and Switzerland go through to the last 16.
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