APTOPIX WCup Brazil Serbia Soccer
Brazil's Richarlison scores his second goal during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Serbia, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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Richarlison's goals help Brazil beat Serbia 2-0

3 Comments
By TALES AZZONI

Richarlison scored two goals, the second with a spectacular acrobatic kick, to help Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 Thursday at the World Cup.

In the 73rd minute, the striker used one touch to get the ball up in the air and then spun around and got off the ground before knocking the ball into the net with his right foot.

Brazil had struggled to get past the Serbian defense until Richarlison scored from close range in the 62nd in a buildup that started with Neymar.

Vinícius Júnior assisted on both goals.

Neymar, seeking his first major title with Brazil, stayed at 75 goals for the national team, two shy of Pelé’s scoring record.

Brazil coach Tite started with an attack-minded squad that included four forwards — Neymar, Vinícius Júnior, Raphinha and Richarlison. Attacking midfielder Lucas Paquetá played alongside Casemiro, the lone defensive midfielder.

But Serbia had several players back and was able to keep Brazil from creating many significant opportunities. Neymar tried to control the pace but struggled to find space up front. He, Vinícius Júnior and Raphinha all squandered chances early on.

Brazil’s best chance before Richarlison’s opening goal had been a low long-range shot by Alex Sandro that hit the post in the 60th. Neymar had his best opportunities with a free kick in the 50th and a shot from near the penalty spot in the 55th.

The 30-year-old Neymar arrived to his third World Cup as Brazil’s main attraction. He helped the “Seleção” win the 2013 Confederations Cup and its first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, but has yet to win a major title with the national team.

Neymar later left the stadium limping with a swollen right ankle. Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar sprained his ankle.

“We put ice on it while he was on the bench and then in physiotherapy," Lasmar said. "There is no test scheduled for now but we will schedule it if needed. He will be under observation. We will know more tomorrow.”

Brazil coach Tite said he was “confident that Neymar will continue playing at the World Cup,” but Lasmar said it was too early to comment on the extent of the injury.

Neymar was also injured at the 2014 World Cup. Playing at home in Brazil, his tournament ended with a back injury in the quarterfinals against Colombia when he had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Brazil ended up losing to Germany 7-1 in the semifinals.

Neymar, who was fouled nine times in the match against Serbia, got injured in the second half and was substituted in the 79th minute. Tite said he stayed on the field for 11 minutes before asking to be replaced.

“He overcame the injury because the team needed him,” Tite said. “I didn't even see that he had been injured. He just kept playing.”

Neymar was in tears on the bench as doctors began treating him in the final minutes of the game at Lusail Stadium. He pulled his shirt over his head as doctors taped ice around his foot. He went into the locker room limping, and also limped as he left the stadium without speaking to reporters.

“The most important thing for us it to have him at 100% for the next match,” said Brazil striker Richarlison, who scored both goals on Thursday, including one after a buildup started by Neymar. “When I get to the hotel I’m going to go and see how he is doing.”

Neymar was tackled hard a few times during the match and was limping and grimacing before having to leave the field. He was the most fouled player on the field.

The 30-year-old Neymar has yet to win a major title with the national team. He helped the “Seleção” win the 2013 Confederations Cup and its first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

With 75 goals for the national team, he is two shy of Pelé’s scoring record.

Brazil, trying to win its first World Cup in two decades, is unbeaten in its last 20 opening games, with 17 victories. It has finished first in its group in the last 10 World Cups.

In the other Group G match, Switzerland defeated Cameroon 1-0.

Brazil and Serbia also played in the group stage in 2018, with Brazil also winning 2-0 to reach the next stage at Serbia’s expense.

Since competing as Serbia in 2010, the the country has not advanced to the knockout rounds of the World Cup.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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3 Comments
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Sensational goal from Richarlison! Early contender for goal of the WC!

Seleção Canarinho looking solid and business-like in their quest to break the Euro's 20 year stranglehold on the Cup.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Neymar ,:The boy who cried wolf. Well has the injury wolf shown up for real?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Brazil looks compact. When in full flow, Richarlison is a treat to watch. Well played Seleção Brasileira.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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