Paulinho and Thiago Silva put Brazil through and send Serbia home

Paulinho and Thiago Silva put Brazil through and send Serbia home

The win, combined with Switzerland's 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, meant Brazil finished top of Group E on seven points, two ahead of the Swiss, who will face Sweden in the last 16.

Brazil danced their way into the last 16 with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Serbia in the final Group E game at the Spartak stadium in Russian Federation.

Serbia needed to win to qualify and rocked their opponents with a flurry of second-half chances. A Seleção dictated the pace of this game for large parts, although it should also be acknowledged that they were under major pressure when Thiago Silva popped up to head home that decisive second goal.

The match at Moscow's Spartak Stadium began at a ferocious tempo and Brazil left-back Marcelo was an early casualty, limping off after ten minutes to be replaced by Filipe Luis.

The breakthrough came 10 minutes before the break when Philippe Coutinho picked out Paulinho's run with an exquisite angled through ball from the left and his fellow Barcelona midfielder delicately flicked the ball over Stojkovic.

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Adem Ljajic earned a yellow card for a late challenge on Neymar, the Paris Saint-Germain star receiving more rough treatment, and Aleksandar Mitrovic missed the target with an acrobatic attempt in the 34th minute.

Serbia repeatedly struggled to contain Brazil's fleet-footed attack.

Serbia enjoyed their best chance of the match four minutes later - Alisson touching a unsafe cross from the right straight toward Aleksandar Mitrovic whose diving header was saved off the line by a defender before deflecting back into the goalkeeper's hands.

Brazil only need a draw to go through, but will be eyeing first place with a win.

A speculative cross from Milinkovic-Savic had Alisson scrambling, while Mitrovic headed a cross from Rukavina straight at the feet of the keeper in the 65th minute.

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