The tournament’s favorites climbed to the top of Group G after moments of brilliance, breaking Serbia’s resolve.

Brazilian Richarlison led his side to a 2-0 victory over Serbia at Lusail Stadium as tournament favorites opened their World Cup campaign in scintillating style.

The 25-year-old striker opened the Seleção account just after the hour mark in the Group G match on Thursday night, and went on to add an impressive second soon after that in the 73rd minute.

The final kick saw the Tottenham Hotspur striker convert a cross from winger Vinicius Junior by shooting the ball over his head before leaping into the air to fire a stunning shot into the net.

Serbia, who put up stiff resistance in the first two-thirds of the match, were then left to chase the shadows on their final throws as Brazil players pressed the ball and made regular raids into the opposition’s chest, underscoring their credentials as the most dangerous in the competition.

For its part, Serbia was sweating over the fitness of its historic top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, but coach Dragan Stojkovic chose him in the starting lineup.

In contrast to the Brazilian attacking line, which was menacing from all sides, the Fulham striker found himself isolated up front with few services.

The result left Brazil top of Group G, followed by Switzerland in second place after the European team beat Cameroon earlier on Thursday.

The South American giants, who are seeking to win their sixth World Cup, will play next Monday against Switzerland. Serbia plays Cameroon on the same day.

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