Brazil cruise into last 16 by beating Serbia

Brazil cruise into last 16 by beating Serbia

The Barcelona midfielder was replaced by the more defensive Fernandinho in the 66th minute as Serbia went on the attack in a bid to save their World Cup campaign.

Coutinho once again came through for Brazil as he put the victor home in the 91st minute while Neymar sealed the match off with one of his own in the 97th.

The Serbs almost scored in the 61st when Brazil goalkeeper Alisson pushed the ball into the path of forward Aleksandar Mitrovic, whose shot bounced off the keeper and was bound for goal before being cleared by Silva. On the hour mark he failed to clear well a cross that put the ball on a plate for Mitrovic and the shotstopper was fortunate that Thiago Silva was on hand to clear. Even though we played well, we tried but we failed.

With the biggest South Korea upset against Germany, in the day's first game, Brazil had all to do if they were to avoid another embarrassing exit like the former champions. "I have to be aware of the evolution I have undergone in these last four years".

This was a more assured performance from Brazil compared to its first two group matches.

Mexico pip South Korea in Group F tie
He told Fifa .com: "What's the point of us winning [against Germany] if we then go and lose to Sweden or Korea Republic? ". And that's exactly what South Korea will be on Saturday.

A win for Serbia would have sent them through at the expense of Brazil and, for a while, they had a good go at getting the two goals they needed to turn things around.

"We don't live by expectation, we live by reality", Brazil coach Tite said when asked how he felt about his team now being tournament favourites.

Antonio Rukavina, who started in place of the experienced Branislav Ivanovic, saw his shot pushed into the danger area by Alisson and the goalkeeper was relieved to see Silva stop Mitrovic nodding the loose ball home.

In all competitions, Brazil are unbeaten in 13 matches (W9 D4 L0), conceding just three goals in that run. He then jumped above Serbia's defense from a corner for Brazil's second goal.

Serbia again set off alarm bells moments later, but some desperate Brazil defending was enough to keep them out.

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