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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018


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Well, after the drama of Germany’s shock exit earlier this afternoon, it’s over to Group E and Brazil, as the five-time champions search for the point they need to ensure their progress through to the knockout stages.

Serbia, however, harbour their own hopes of going through and will fancy their chances of causing another upset in Moscow, with group leaders Switzerland facing pointless Costa Rica in their final game.

It’s going down to the wire and we’ll bring you all the action as it happens, with both games kicking off at 7pm.

TEAM NEWS: Brazil have stuck with the same XI which beat Costa Rica last time out, while Antonio Rukavina, Milos Veljkovic and Adem Ljacic come in for Serbia, who require a win if they are to go through.

Screen Shot 2018-06-27 at 18.46.47

The atmosphere is building inside and out the Spartak Stadium.

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Source: Maddie Meyer

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Source: Buda Mendes

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Source: Dean Mouhtaropoulos

The teams are out in Moscow. This is how things stand heading into the final round of fixtures in Group E.

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KICK OFF! Brazil, in their traditional colours and playing from right to left in this first half, get us underway.


1 mins – Brazil have made a bright start, with Neymar getting on the ball early and running at the Serbia defence. He feeds it inside for Coutinho, but the Barcelona forward is closed down and his shot is blocked.


3 mins — Chance! Gabriel Jesus escapes the offside trap as he runs in behind and after his effort from a tight angle is saved, Coutinho fires it across the goal only for Neymar to poke it wide. Brazil look menacing in the early exchanges.


10 mins – Marcelo pulls up and appears to be in real trouble here, and the Real Madrid defender tells the bench he has to come off and is replaced by Filipe Luis.


13 mins – Serbia have done well to take the sting out of Brazil’s fast start and they’ve now settled into the contest, enjoying plenty of possession.Their early game plan is to get the ball up towards Mitrovic and see what problems he can cause the Brazilian defence.


20 mins – Serbia will be pleased with how the opening quarter of this game has gone so far with Neymar’s toe-poke wide the only real scare they’ve suffered. Brazil knocking the ball around crisply but when they get into the final third, they’re met by a wall of red shirts.


Marcelo was in tears as he hobbled off injured.

Serbia v Brazil: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Source: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA


27 mins — Frustration for Brazil as they spurn another good chance, but it’s much better from Neymar and co. Gabriel Jesus again runs in behind the Serbian defence but hesitates and allowed a red shirt to get back and block his effort from close-range.


30 mins — Serbia are holding their own so far and while defensively sound at one end, they carry a threat at the other with Rukavina at right back and Filip Kostic providing pacy outlets on either side.


There has been a goal in the other Group E game, where Switzerland have taken a big step towards qualification by taking the lead against Costa Rica through Blerim Dzemaili.


33 mins — Half chance for Serbia as Mitrovic pulls off his marker and tries to acrobatically hook a cross towards goal, but he couldn’t keep his effort down and it was always sailing over Alisson’s goal.

Flag 36Mins

35 mins — GOAL! Serbia 0-1 Brazil (Paulinho)

After being caught out twice already with a ball through the centre, Serbia fail to heed the warning signs and Coutinho floats a delightful ball over the top for Paulinho to latch onto and lob it over the advancing Stokjovic.


38 mins – Huge relief inside the Spartak Stadium and the thousands of Brazil fans are in full voice now. They’re currently advancing as group winners, with Switzerland in second.


44 mins – Not a lot happening in Moscow, as we approach the half-time break. Neymar tries to inject some life into proceedings with a mazy run from deep but the final ball is cut off. Brazil are comfortable at the moment.

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Half-time! Serbia 0-1 Brazil

And that’s half-time, with Brazil avoiding any drama so far thanks to Paulinho’s beautifully-taken goal after Coutinho cut the Serbia defence apart with a magical ball over the top.

Just before the break, Neymar came close to a second with a curling effort from range, but he just couldn’t keep it down.

As it stands, Brazil are advancing through to the last 16 as winners of Group E, with Switzerland — who lead Costa Rica 1-0 — sitting in second place.


50 mins – Scrappy start to the second period, with Matic picking up a cheap booking, and Brazil continuing to enjoy the better of the possession.


52 mins – Brazil give the ball away and Serbia look to hit them on the break, with Tadic and Ljajic linking well down the right, but they can’t find the end product with the move breaking down in the final third.


56 mins – Brazil are looking to kill this game off and Neymar comes close to doing so as he streaks clear of the Serbian defence, before forcing the ‘keeper into a smart stop from a tight angle.


There has been a second goal at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, and Costa Rica have become the final nation to score at this World Cup as they level proceedings against Switzerland. That’s good news for Serbia, but they need to find a goal here against Brazil.


60 mins — Chance! Oh what a chance for Serbia! Alisson makes an almighty mess of a fairly straightforward cross as he punches it against his own player and into the path of Mitrovic, but he was unable to finish. A huge let-off for Brazil.


62 mins – The complexion of this game has changed in a flash, with Serbia now dominating and causing panic in the Brazilian defence. Tadic tries his luck from the edge of the area but he just started it too far wide of the post and it never came back.


65 mins — Chance! Another big opportunity for Serbia and it’s that man Mitrovic again, but his header is straight at the ‘keeper.

Flag 68Mins

68 mins — GOAL! Serbia 0-2 Brazil (Thiago Silva)

After Serbia’s purple patch, Brazil strike at the other end and that should be job done. Thiago Silva rises highest at the near post to head home an in-swinging corner. Relief for the south Americans.


80 mins – Heading into the final 10 minutes in Moscow, where Brazil are now in cruise control and heading comfortably towards the last 16 as group winners. As things stand, Switzerland are also going through in second.


82 mins — Chance! Neymar is getting closer. Willian has been causing problems down this right-hand side all night and he does brilliantly to get to the byline and whip in a dangerous cross, which finds Neymar in space — but the PSG forward strikes it into the ground and over the bar.


Switzerland have regained the lead in their clash against Costa Rica, with Josip Drmic the man to slot home after a sweeping move.


90 mins – Into stoppage time in Moscow.


And despite a last-gasp Costa Rica penalty to level things at 2-2, Switzerland join Brazil in the last 16 as runners-up in Group E.

Thanks for joining us this evening, and we’ll have reports and reaction from both of tonight’s games online shortly. Until next time, goodbye!

About the author:

Ryan Bailey


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