Paulinho and Thiago Silva ended Serbia’s World Cup hopes with goals in each half as Brazil scooped up a win and the top spot in Group E with a 2-0 win in Moscow on Wednesday.
Brazil will face Mexico in the Round of 16 on Monday. It should be a beauty.
Serbia played well over 90 minutes, and will be left to rue an uncalled foul in the box on Aleksandar Mitrovic earlier in the tournament.
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The first 20 minutes was heavy on scares for Brazil. Marcelo had to come off with an apparent leg injury, and Gabriel Jesus was also felled and hit the deck for a spell.
But Paulinho’s goal came after the half hour mark, as Philippe Coutinho opened the lid on the Serbia back line and the Barcelona man used his first touch to flick the ball past Vladimir Stojkovic.
Serbia’s second half battle was fierce, but Brazil made the path to the knockout rounds extra thorny with a Silva header of a Neymar corner kick.
The rest of the match largely saw Serbia on its heels against a third Brazil goal, as Neymar and Co. very much look prepared for the big stage.
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