4:27 PM ET

Richarlison scored two goals to lead Brazil to a 2-0 victory over Serbia in the opening game of the World Cup.

It was left to Vinicius Jr. and Richarlison to carry the side to victory after Brazil took a while to start.

Gabriele had a reaction and analysis to the event.

Player ratings, best and worst performers, highlights and notable moments, post- match quotes, and key statistics are included.

Rapid reaction

1. After poor first half, Brazil spark to life

The lowest xG total of the tournament so far was recorded by Serbia in the first half of their match against Brazil. The first half was when Brazil's creative outlets were silenced.

Football is more than a game of teams. Vinicius, perhaps the most consistent attacking threat, put in the shot from wide that VanjaMilinkovic-Savic spilled into Richarlison's path for the opener.

The second goal was all Richarlison's genius and imagination. Brazil coach Tite knows that you don't game plan for things like that.

Brazil's Richarlison scores what may be the best goal of the 2022 World Cup so far, making it 2-0 over Serbia on Thursday. Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images

They hit the woodwork twice and could have scored more. Brazil needs to raise their game compared to what we saw.

It's nice to have a good amount of individual talent, but it's better to impose your will on the opposition.

2. Serbia's smart game plan almost works

The plan was worked on for a half. He blocked the middle of the park, got Serbia to be physical and tight, and limited Brazil's attacking threat.

There was a lack of speed in his three most advanced players. It was always going to be difficult for Serbia to win possession in transition and hold up the ball on the counter attack.

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With the benefit of hindsight, you wonder if a fit, mobile Dusan Vlahovic would have been a better option.

In the past month, the big man has only appeared in one game, in which he played 45 minutes. Maybe he is easing him into the tournament because he knows he can make a difference in the tournament.

3. Brazil's large support puts stamp on Qatar

Brazil may be the most popular team in the world. The Lusail's bowl was a sea of yellow and the subway ride up from central Doha was full of yellow.

Many were Brazilians who had made the trip, but many were simply locals who have embraced the Selecao, whether because of the five World Cup they have won or the fact that they are, once again, favorites.

Brazil has been the neutrals' favorite for a long time. Brazil is closely identified with the World Cup. Brazil as a team are more liked by the Europeans than any other team.

Brazil will have home field advantage during the World Cup. The Al Bayt stadium emptied when they were two goals down in the opener.

Player ratings

Alisson, Marquinjhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro, Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta and Richarlison are all from Brazil.

Antony, Rodrygo, Gabriel Jesus, and Fred were on the subs.

V. Miilinkovic-Savic 7, Milenkovic 6, Velkjovic 6, Gudelj 7, Mladenovic 7, Tadic 5, and Mitrovich 5.

Subs: Ilic, Ilic, Ilic, Vlahovic, Maksimovic.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Vinicius, Brazil

One of the two goals Richarlison scored was a highlight reel goal. For consistency throughout the match, I'm picking Vinicius, who was a constant destabilizing force even during a first half when most of Brazil's attack went quiet.

WORST: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia

He was supposed to hold up the ball and allow Serbia to push forward, but Marquinhos and Thiago Silva kept him at bay. If he's going to be his level, it makes sense to start Vlahovic, who offers a threat behind the defneders.

Highlights and notable moments

The first half was boring, with the lowest xG, or expected goals, of any first half in the World Cup so far.

There was a dangerous moment in the first minute after the break, and then a goal from Richarlison in the 62nd minute.

Richarlison's second goal is the only goal anyone will talk about. Richarlison popped the ball up to himself and finished it off beautifully.


Can't stop watching this INSANE goal by Richarlison 😱🤯 pic.twitter.com/xYmwln4Ajk