Brazilian Richarlison scores the key goal in the World Cup victory

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LUSAIL, Qatar — Just when you might be sitting there and starting to wonder if the idea of ​​Brazil trumps reality, if the anticipation of good football often seems to fade at the sight of a grind, Brazilians might remind you that they’re always capable of something which will almost make your eyes pop out of your head.

That’s what happened on Thursday night as the goal from this fledgling World Cup graced Lusail Stadium two days after the upset of the centuries. Where Saudi Arabia had been against Argentina on Tuesday, now the show has arrived in the 73rd minute in Brazil against Serbia. He cemented Brazil’s 2-0 opening win. It came from Richarlison, the 25-year-old who has been scoring a lot lately. He made people jump and maybe even scream involuntarily.

It resulted in stadium noise that carried the unmistakable sound of wonder and was sustained longer than most of these noises. He sent Tite, Brazil’s longtime coach, into an adorable frenzy as he walked over to hug his staff group of him, later saying, “Sometimes feelings can’t be explained.” And he lent the postgame lobbies the kind of lingering buzz you can’t get from the non-alcoholic beer they serve in these stadiums here.

“I think it was a beautiful goal,” Richarlison said of his whirlwind cycling from mid-area. He mentioned previous and similar goals with club Fluminense in Brazil and Everton in England and said: “Today I had the opportunity to make an acrobatic goal which was very, very beautiful, I think it is one of the best in the my career. It was a very tough game for us, so I think it was one of the best goals I’ve ever scored.”

He scored 88 club goals, 19 for international and two of those 19 on Thursday night, so that’s a mass of goals to weigh up. “As our professor, Tite says, ‘You’re smelling goals,'” Richarlison said. “And that’s what happens.” He rewarded those who had gone to the stadium in anticipation of beauty as they filled the immaculate new subway cars and shiny new subway stations with that old reliable electric yellow.

What they saw and certainly evaluated on the way home in Portuguese and a bunch of other languages ​​even managed to obscure something hard to obscure. Neymar, Brazil’s most recognizable figure, now 30 and living in Paris, injured his ankle in the second half, played another 11 minutes before his coach knew it, earned praise from his coach for his his pain tolerance and became the subject of a press conference appearance by a team doctor, who said it was too soon to say much.

“We are confident Neymar will continue to play,” said Tite. “He will continue to play in the World Cup”. If so, he could help lead Brazil’s run to their first world title in 20 years, as well as pursuing Pelé’s record for Brazil goals held by Pelé at 77, with Neymar at 75. If not, there are other stars. with electric prowess in electric yellow, and both goals on Thursday went on merry trips through Vinicius Junior to Richarlison.

That happened in the 62nd minute, when Vinicius Junior, the 22-year-old prodigy of energy and precision and engagement from Real Madrid, blocked a ball that Neymar had lost track of on the left edge of the area and suddenly slammed it on goal , where goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic reached out to save before Richarlison easily slotted it in.

This made it 1-0, and that wasn’t what people are going to take to memory banks.

The unforgettable came 11 minutes later, and once again built on the creation of Vinicius Junior. He operated from the left wing, of course, and this time he slipped a sighted ball through a narrow corridor of human obstacles. He found his way to Richarlison in the middle of the box, and then came the whoa.

Richarlison fielded him with his left foot and hauled him into the air. Then he turned, spun his body and pedaled him with his right foot. He struck perhaps not even an inch above Serbian defender Milos Velijkovic’s left shoulder, while Richarlison’s flailing, flying boot almost hit Velijkovic’s head. He kept his screaming line and scurried just inside the left post, with Milinkovic-Savic as helpless in his last stagger as any of the 8 billion Earthlings would have been. For the second time in a short period, the entire Brazilian team crammed into one corner for a huge party.

“Vale,” Tite said of the ball, “and he re-plans his whole plan,” and what a skilled plan-re-planner they are.

The starliest of the star World Cup teams, Brazil has finally made its debut in this 22nd Men’s World Cup, the 22nd for which Brazil has qualified. He had become the last of the big boys to start this World Cup from the odd placement on the calendar. His fans from around the world, plentiful at times plentiful, had arrived with their singsong volume in the usual rant of can’t wait. With some Serbs in red and blue mixed in, they had emptied towards Lusail Stadium, the futuristic structure that resembles an illuminated soap dish at night.

They saw Brazil, tournament favorites by default, struggle a bit with a more than capable Serbia during a first half without much success. “During the break,” said Tite, the 61-year-old who has coached Brazil since 2016, “I needed to tell my players to calm down, because first we have to have a [lightness] that we needed to pass the ball.

He said, “We needed to get the adrenaline down.”

They made positioning changes and soon, assistant Cleber Xavier said, “We kept expanding speed, expanding movement and creating opportunities,” after which they created wonder.

Group G had started from the starting gate with the Brazilians level with the Swiss on three points, and Richarlison declared ‘a wonderful night’ with ‘a beautiful win’ so that ‘we now have six more matches to achieve our target ”, but first he would have checked Neymar at the hotel. Serbia, who had won their group in qualifying, “always had a lot of pressure” during the match, said Tite, “so they demanded a lot from us.” All of which provided a great start to Brazil’s attempt to take its record total of five World Cup titles to six, and was a reminder in one fell swoop that Brazil’s reality sometimes lives up to the idea.

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