International Football Friendly—Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo, Brazil.
FULL TIME: BRAZIL 1-0 SERBIA
Goals: Fred (57')
Brazil: J. Cesar, Alves (Maicon), Luiz, Silva, Marcelo (Maxwell), Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho (Fernandinho), Oscar (Willian), Hulk, Neymar (Bernard), Fred (Jo).
Substitutes: Jefferson, Fernandinho, Dante, Maxwell, Henrique, Ramires, Hernanes, Willian, Bernard, Jo, Victor, Maicon.
Serbia: Stojkovic (Lukac), Ivanovic, Mitrovic (Djordjevic), Tosic, Kolarov, Basta (Vulicevic), Jojic, Petrovic (Mrda), Matic, Tadic (Z. Tosic), Markovic.
Substitutes: Lukac, Vulicevic, Pejcinovic, Gudelj, Z Tosic, Djordjevic, Mitrovic, Mrda, Lazovic
Brazil beat Serbia 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal from Fred to head into the World Cup on a winning note. It was a mixed night for the Selecao performance-wise, however.
An extremely scrappy first-half saw a number of fouls committed as both sides struggled to get hold of the game on a wet surface in Sao Paulo.
Luiz Felipe Scolari will have been concerned at seeing Neymar and Marcelo among those caught up in this, but perhaps more so at a decidedly underwhelming opening 45 minutes from his team. Serbia had the better of the chances and should have taken the lead before half-time.
Aleksandar Kolarov found his way through from the left on a couple of occasions, while Aleksandar Mitrovic put wide a header he should at least have hit the target from.
Scolari replaced Oscar with his Chelsea team-mate Willian at the interval. It was one of the first-half's poorer performers who created the breakthrough, however.
Thiago Silva had been caught out on a couple of occasions, far from his usual assured self. Banishing these previous errors from his mind, he coolly picked the ball and proceeded forward into the Serbia half. There he floated a delightful pass into the edge of the are to find Fred.
The striker got between defenders and controlled the ball with his chest. Despite slipping, he never lost sight of goal and prodded past Vladimir Stojkovic.
Brazil looked like they were going to see off Serbia from here, but the visitors almost equalised when Milos Jojic saw his header come off the post. The warning woke the home side and Neymar and Hulk combined for what should have been a terrific second goal.
The Barcelona man picked out Hulk with a terrific through-ball. The latter ran onto it and chipped Stojkovic, but was ridiculously judged to have been offside.
Jo went close for Brazil late on with a header, but by that point a rush of substitutions had killed off the game's momentum.
Despite an underwhelming performance overall from Brazil, the test will likely have done them more good than another comfortable win in the manner of their defeat of Panama earlier this week.
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