Brazil danced and dumped Serbia to book Mexico in last 16

World Cup 2018 Neymar Under Pressure As Brazil Aim Victory Against Serbia

Brazil's Thiago Silva scores their second goal against Serbia in the World Cup Group E match at Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia, June 27, 2018.

Serbia can still attempt to soak up the inevitable pressure from Brazil and hit them on the counter, or try and take advantage of set pieces with Aleksandar Mitrovic leading the way.

Playing just hours after holders Germany suffered their shock exit after a 2-0 defeat by South Korea, the five-times champions were desperate to stamp their authority on a tournament where World Cup pedigree has counted for so little.

No one would be surprised if they beat the Balkan team and they only need to gain one point to guarantee a place in the knockout stage.

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.

The Selecao started positively, but had to replace Marcelo with Filipe Luis, who only returned from a broken leg last month, in the 10th minute, the Real Madrid left-back grimacing as he hobbled down the tunnel with what was later confirmed to be a back spasm.

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Neymar forced a first save from Stojkovic in the 25th minute but the Serb keeper did well to palm his hopeful effort wide of the goal.

Brazil got the breakthrough soon after on 36 minutes, when Paulinho latched onto a lovely through ball from Philippe Coutinho, dinking the ball past the onrushing Stojkovic and into the empty net.

They had yet to click in their earlier games, where they limply drew 1-1 with Switzerland and needed two stoppage-time goals to beat Costa Rica, and they didn't exactly sparkle in the first half-hour on Wednesday.

Mitrovic then headed straight at Alisson when he found himself free in the box, as Serbia failed to land the telling blow with Brazil rocking.

Thiago Silva doubled Brazil's lead with a powerful header at the near post from a Neymar corner in the 67th minute to secure a place in the last 16.

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