Serbia vs Brazil: Mitrovic ready to inflict WC agony on Selecaos

Serbia vs Brazil: Mitrovic ready to inflict WC agony on Selecaos

Serbia vs Brazil: Mitrovic ready to inflict WC agony on Selecaos

Goals by Paulinho and Thiago Silva steered a much-improved Brazil to a 2-0 victory over a battling but ultimately outclassed Serbia on Wednesday and into a World Cup second-round meeting with Mexico.

Anxious no more, Brazil is through at the World Cup.

Tite's team went into the game knowing a draw would be enough to see them through, while the Serbs needed a win to guarantee progression for them to the last 16 in Russian Federation.

Tite's side left it late to get past Costa Rica on Friday, but they only had to wait 36 minutes for the opener in Moscow, Paulinho stabbing over Vladimir Stojkovic off a magnificent pass from Philippe Coutinho.

For Serbia, Mitrovic was a direct force up front, while Tadic picked up where he left off against Switzerland, being a threat down the right.

Neymar was unlucky not to score 12 minutes after the restart - the excellent Coutinho finding the Paris Saint-Germain man racing behind the Serbia defence only to see his left-footed shot blocked by a quick-reacting Stojkovic.

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The victory, which eliminates Serbia, means Brazil will face Mexico in the round of 16 on Monday in Samara. Brazil only need a draw to go through, but will be eyeing first place with a win.

"Not just now, even before the World Cup, Brazil was one of the favorites to win", Krstajic said.

Mitrovic was presented with a golden opportunity to equalise four minutes later after Alisson punched a cross from the right straight at the striker, whose header came back off Silva and rebounded into the keeper's arms.

This will be the second meeting between Serbia and Brazil with the former as an independent nation - their first encounter was in a friendly in June 2014, Brazil winning 1-0.

Tite's team had to protect a slender lead for a shaky 15-minute period at the start of the second half as Serbia went all out for the win they then needed.

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