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Brazil see off Serbia to reach last 16

Brazil will face Mexico in the last 16 after eliminating Serbia 2-0 on Wednesday night at the FIFA World Cup.

The Selecao had been far from convincing, but went into this game knowing they needed just a point to be sure of qualification. They top group E with seven points.

Paulinho lobbed the ball over on-rushing Serbia keeper after a wonderful pass from Phillipe Countinho to give Brazil the lead in the first half in the 36th minute.

Adem Ljajic of Torino and Dusan Tadic combined on the counter, but the pass back was too weak, then Miranda made a desperate clearance on Ljajic’s cross-shot and Vlad Stojkovic used his legs to deny Neymar’s angled drive on the counter.

There was a double chance for Serbia, as Alisson punched an Antonio Rukavina cross into the path of Aleksandar Mitrovic, whose header was charged down by Thiago Silva from point-blank range.

Just as they were under pressure, Brazil doubled their lead with ex-Milan defender Thiago Silva’s header at the near post from a Neymar corner in the second half.

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