Moscow: Brazil came into their final Group E match knowing that they do not have to worry about probable Round of 16 clash with the defending Champions Germany after Joachim Loew’s men had suffered shocking 2-0 defeat against the Korea and were knocked out of the tournament.
Tite’s men still needed to ensure that there were no hiccups in the final game and dished out a clinical performance showing why they are contenders to be part of the July 15 final in Moscow.
Philippe Coutinho once again ran the show in the middle of the park and produced a sublime assist for Paulinho’s opener in the 36th minute, before both the midfielders were given rest by the coach in the second half.
Neymar too sizzled on the lush green turf of the Spartak Stadium as he created numerous opportunities for his team including the pinpoint corner in the 68th-minute that allowed Thiago Silva to put the result beyond Serbia’s reach. He should consider himself really unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet.
The other two in Brazil’s frontline, Gabriel Jesus and Willian, too had excellent game as they kept their intensity throughout the game, always finding spaces in behind Serbia’s defence.
If right back Danilo’s injury isn’t already a worry for Tite, ever reliable and one of the World’s best left-back Marcelo had to come off within first 10 minutes due to back spasms.
The pain Marcelo went through and the emotions on his face suggested that it might just be the end of the World Cup for him if he fails to recover from it.
It is the third muscle injury a Brazilian player has suffered since arriving in Russia, as Danilo and influential winger Douglas Costa were the two absentees for the game against Serbia.
Tite, 57, now be sweating over the fitness of his first choice left back, despite the fact his replacement Filipe Luis covered brilliantly. On the other flank, it was Fagnar who too did his job well as Brazil rarely made goalkeeper Allison work.
Road ahead for Brazil
Brazil would now take on arch-rivals Mexico in Samara on July 2. The two teams would go into the game with totally different mindset as Brazil were convincing in their victory, while Mexico were lucky enough to go through after being beaten 3-0 by Sweden coupled by Germany’s shock defeat.
But, as has been the trend of this World Cup, Brazil should not and would not take their counterparts lightly as they are the ones who first scripted the downfall of Joachim Loew and his relentless Germany.
As they say, focus only on the next game, Tite would now have to devise a strategy against El Tri, who certainly possess tools to trouble Brazil.