The Seleço Brasileira and Neymar were scoreless at the half of their World Cup debut.
Day 5 is crucial for Brazil supporters and those rooting for the South Americans to win the FIFA World Cup in 2022. It is 0-0 at halftime as Paris Saint-Germain sensation Neymar and his Brazilian teammates make their tournament debut against Serbia in Group G.
Tite’s players will take their first steps this winter at Lusail Stadium, where they will face Dragan Stojkovic’s Eagles, who have improved since his appointment. Serbia’s individual brilliance has seldom been called into question; it has always been about the group, and that is something that many believe Brazil has mastered heading into this one.
Switzerland has already defeated Cameroon this Thanksgiving, while Uruguay and South Korea settled for a scoreless draw ahead of what is often regarded as the day’s showpiece game. With Argentina having been upset by Saudi Arabia, might the pressure put Brazil off to a bad start in Qatar?
Follow all of the second-half action from Lusail right here to find out how things are going – and while you’re at it, join up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all of its splendour, including daily World Cup updates, here.
Brazil 1-0 Serbia!
There you have it! Brazil’s first goal comes from Richarlison. After Vanja Milinkovic Savic spilled it while saving from Vinicius Junior, the Tottenham Hotspur man was in the right place at the right time to tuck home. Brazilians in Lusail are filled with relief and joy. But there’s still 30 minutes to go.
Sandro off the post!
The Brazilian hits the woodwork, and that’s as close as we’ve gotten so far. Vanja Milinkovic Savic was thoroughly beaten but saved by his post. It would have been a knockout, but we’re still level and without a goal… Or do we?
Second half so far
Brazil gets a couple of looks, but nothing too close. Neymar struck the crossbar with a free kick and the side netting with a corner kick. However, there are no clear-cut opportunities for either side, and we are now approaching an hour without a goal. Who can provide inspiration?
HT: Brazil 0-0 Serbia
So far, no goals have been set, and this one has yet to get started. The Brazilians have had a few glances, but nothing spectacular. Serbia’s defence has been fairly tight, but Vinicius did get in just before the break. The first 15-20 minutes of the second half should reveal who might be able to break the tie. But don’t rule out a surprise just yet.
Serbia is maturing into this.
Brazil has already gone over the 30-minute mark with no breakthrough. The Serbs are now bringing the ball forward in quest of their own opportunities. If this game is still scoreless at halftime, the first 15 minutes of the second half will be crucial for both teams’ chances of victory. Tite’s men have appeared to be more capable of scoring, but this tournament has demonstrated the difference between creating opportunities and actually taking them. Vinicius blew the Brazilians’ greatest beginning of the season right before halftime.
After 15 minutes, there are no goals.
There hasn’t been a breakthrough yet, but a superb pass from Casemiro threatened to put Brazil ahead. Defense-splitting at its finest. So far, Neymar has dropped deep and is looking to get involved; expect the PSG man to figure at some point as the Selecao chases the goal that will give them lift-off in Qatar.
Kick-off in Lusail, and it was disappointing to see empty seats as the first ball was kicked, but this has been a common occurrence in Qatar, despite reports of above-capacity attendances…
Superstar PSG teammates Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi have already scored for France and Argentina, respectively, while Cristiano Ronaldo has also scored for Portugal. Will Neymar join that list, or will he outperform it? No player has scored more than two goals so far, with Olivier Giroud, Bukayo Saka, Ferran Torres, Enner Valencia, and Mehdi Taremi all scoring twice in the first round.
There is so much talent on both sides, and it stretches beyond the starting XIs. Rodrygo, Bruno Guimaraes, and Antony are just a few names to watch off the Brazilian bench. In terms of Serbia, Vlahovic, Filip Kostic, and Luka Jovic are some of the instantly recognisable names Piksi could call on in the middle of the game.
Recap of Thursday
After a relatively slow start in Group G, with Switzerland defeating Cameroon by a single goal and Uruguay drawing 0-0 with South Korea, Portugal vs. Ghana exploded into life with a 3-2 win for Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates, taking top spot in Group H in dramatic fashion. Much is expected of Brazil, but Serbia has the potential to create and take risks against the South Americans.
Tite has a strong first XI with lots of imagination in the ranks, with Neymar, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior, and Paqueta all starting from the start. With Thiago Silva and Marquinhos reunited from their PSG days, expect stability at the back.
Alisson; Danilo, Neymar, Thiago Silva (c), Sandro; Marquinhos, Paqueta; Casemiro, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior; Richarlison
Dragan Stojkovic made a bold decision to start Aleksandar Mitrovic over Dusan Vlahovic, while the Milenkovic-Savic twins start and captain Dusan Tadic is expected to bounce back after his terrible Ajax play with the national side.
Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic, Zivkovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Gudelj, Lukic, Mladenovic, Tadic (c), Mitrovic.