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Brazil Secure Top Spot In Group F; Marcelo Forced Off With Injury

Marcelo played just ten minutes in Brazil’s 2-0 wing over Serbia

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Marcelo was forced to leave the pitch with an injury in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

We’re nearing the end of the group stages in the World Cup. On Wednesday evening, it was time for Brazil to play their last of three group stage matches. Tite’s men had to at least draw to secure their spot in the last 16. If they were to lose against Serbia and Switzerland were to beat Keylor Navas’s Costa Rica, Brazil would be knocked out of this World Cup, just like Germany hours prior.

Earlier today we had seen Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 and secure the top spot in group E, while South Korea surprisingly beat Germany 2-0 and made sure that the reigning World Cup champions got knocked out of the World Cup. If Brazil were to beat Serbia in Moscow, then they would meet Mexico, and if they were to end up as the second seed, they would meet Sweden in the last 16.

Tite started with both Marcelo and Casemiro against Serbia, but Marcelo had to leave the game with injury. After just seven minutes, the camera spotted the 30-year-old left-back communicate with the Brazil bench. The left back continued to play until Filipe Luís could warm up, before getting substituted around the ten-minute mar. Marcelo needed support to get himself to the locker room, and it didn’t look good for the left-back. The reports say that Marcelo picked up a back injury, but no one knows how serious it is or if he will be available in the last 16 this Tuesday.

After 25 minutes, Neymar had the first big chance in the game. The Paris Saint-Germain player received the ball inside the area and finished it off, but a good save from Vladimir Stojkovic thwarted him. Five minutes later it was Gabriel Jesus who got a huge opportunity. The Manchester City striker received a fantastic pass from Neymar but scuffed his chance.

Ten minutes before the break, Brazil would get their goal. Coutinho played a fantastic lobbed pass to Paulinho, who dinked the ball over Serbia goalkeeper Stojkovic. From there, Casemiro played an important part in Brazil keeping their lead, especially in the second half.

Serbia put Brazil under pressure, and Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrović got a couple of good chances to equalize. Brazil got lucky after an hour when Mitrović headed it back in the ground, and Alisson lost the ball — but Thiago Silva helped mop up the mess. Five minutes later it was Mitrović who once again put Alisson to the test, but the 25-year-old goalkeeper saved the header.

Three minutes after Mitrović’s header, Brazil got their second goal of the evening. Neymar played a good corner which Thiago Silva headed in. Casemiro continued his good work and defensive contribution, and he solved a couple of difficult situations with good physical work. One of these situations was after around 70 minutes, when he won the ball back from three Serbian players and passed it with his heel to a teammate.

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