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Richarlison scores goal number two.
Richarlison's second goal was scored off the volley to seal the game for the Brazilians. Photo: Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Richarlison double beats Serbia for Brazil

The South American giant’s campaign for its sixth world cup got off to winning ways.

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The long wait for another world cup is finally over for all Brazilian fans. On Thursday, Nov. 24, the Brazilian national team debuted in the 2022 Qatar World Cup with a 2-0 win against Serbia. 

After a first half that saw Brazil almost go ahead through Thiago Silva in the 27th minute, the Brazilians came out in the second 45 and continued the domination. The pressure in the second led to two goals from Richarlison.

The first was a tap in off a save from the Serbian keeper, and the second was a worldy. Richarlison took a cross off the turf from Vinicius Jr., sent it airborne and volleyed it into the bottom right corner. 

The two nations are old rivals as in the 2018 World Cup they were also in the same group. Four years ago, Brazil guaranteed a 2-0 victory — and it came true four years later.

Among the favorites to win the trophy, Brazil is the only team who has done it five times. The last time the team did it was in 2002, in the Japan/South Korean edition of the tournament. Now, Brazilians want to do it again led by Tite, who has been the coach since 2016.

Brazil easily qualified for this edition of the World Cup, being the best among all South American teams. It is also the only nation in history to have qualified to every World Cup.  

Precisely because Brazil doesn’t have big challengers on the continent, fans are always anxious to play against often better organized European teams. Even though Serbia wasn’t among the elite group of European nations in soccer, it was still a tough adversary for Brazil. 

The Serbians arrived in this World Cup after qualifying in a group that also featured Portugal. With great players, a worry for the Brazilian team was the height of the Serbian athletes — the tallest average among all in the competition. 

Brazil and Serbia play in Group G, which also includes Cameroon and Switzerland. The Swiss saw off the Cameroonians 1-0 in the first game on Thursday.

Silva, the Chelsea defender, was appointed by Tite as Brazil’s captain for the entire tournament. 

Different from the past tournament editions, the Brazilian team seems to be more than just Neymar. Vini Jr, Rodrygo, Richarlison and others are expected to be as protagonists as the Paris Saint-Germain star. 

Given Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia earlier in the week, and the loss of Germany to Japan just a day ago, many eyes were turned on Brazil to deliver. And deliver they did.

Brazil will take the pitch again on Monday, Nov. 28 for game two of the group stage against fellow first-game winners Switzerland. It will also likely prove to be another challenging game for the South American favorites.

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