Tournament favourites shoot to the top of Group G after moments of brilliance break Serbia’s resolve.
Brazil’s Richarlison powered his side to a 2-0 victory against Serbia at the Lusail Stadium as the tournament’s favourites opened their World Cup campaign in sparkling style.
The 25-year-old striker opened the Seleção’s account just after the hour mark in Thursday evening’s Group G fixture and went on to add a spectacular second shortly afterward in the 73rd minute.
The latter strike saw the Tottenham Hotspur forward convert a cross from winger Vinicius Jr by popping the ball up over his head before leaping up in the air to volley home a stunning bicycle kick.
Serbia, who had offered staunch resistance for the first two-thirds of the game, were then left to chase shadows in its final throws as Brazil’s players zipped the ball around and staged regular raids on their opponents’ box, underlining their credentials as the most dangerous in the competition.
Serbia, for their part, had been sweating over the fitness of their all-time top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic but coach Dragan Stojkovic named him in the starting lineup.
Unlike Brazil’s forward line, however, which threatened from all sides, the Fulham striker found himself isolated up front with little service.
The result leaves Brazil top of Group G, followed by Switzerland in second place after the European side’s victory over Cameroon earlier on Thursday.
The South American giants, who are in search of a sixth World Cup win, will play next on Monday against Switzerland. Serbia play Cameroon on the same day.