An Australian football expert has labelled Brazil’s antics “a disgrace” after stars Neymar and Gabriel Jesus were slammed by fans during the 2-0 win over Serbia.
Brazil clinched top spot in Group E to set up a last-16 meeting with Mexico in Samara on Monday, with Paulinho opening the scoring before Thiago Silva wrapped things up in the second half.
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But the performance has come under fire from fans and analysts furious over the perceived play-acting from Brazil’s stars and their efforts to try and get opposition players sent off.
Former Socceroos players and SBS pundits Craig Foster and David Zdrilic were particularly scathing of Brazilian forwards Neymar and Jesus.
“The carry-on from Neymar in the first half where he got hit on the sideline — it was an awful tackle, it was yellow card, it could have been red actually — but he tumbled 15 times,” Foster said during the post-match wrap-up.
“It’s totally unnecessary.
“And then Jesus got what was one finger on his chin or something and he went down trying to get a red card.”
“When you start going into simulation, into these kinds of, ‘I just brushed against you’ and those kinds of overreacted situations where you are trying to get someone sent off or win a penalty, that should be equally as harsh to the person trying to do it,” Zdrilic said.
“It’s a disgrace.”
Fans shared the pair’s anger on social media after the match.
I love soccer. And I recognize Neymar's greatness. But his diving makes him hard to watch.
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 22, 2018
Diving makes soccer hard to watch. #FIFA has no interest in fair play because it’d be easy to fix with red card for diving and mandatory time off the field for “injuries.”
— Patrick Henry (@Strikesuit) June 22, 2018
Apart from Suarez I can't think of one more unlikable player at the world cup than neymar, his diving is shameful, ( and yes I still think Suarez is a stain on football)
— Billy Clarke (@cutclarke) June 27, 2018
Always loved watching Brazil in the World Cup as a kid. Now watching Neymar does nothing but anger me. Diving every single chance he gets. Great player but this diving is disgraceful
— Francis Daly (@FrancisDaly) June 27, 2018
— 🇭🇷 (@VintageDejan) June 27, 2018
Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Silva headed Neymar’s left-wing corner home at the near post to end a strong spell for Serbia, who had threatened to equalise through Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Four of Silva’s six Brazil goals have been assisted by Neymar from a corner, and the 33-year-old was delighted the combination worked to help the Selecao weather the Serbia storm.
4 – Four of the six goals scored by Thiago Silva for #BRA have been assisted by #Neymar (including the two he netted in World Cups); all of them came from corner kick plays. Society. https://t.co/Io6fIXjveO
— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 27, 2018
“In the moments when we were suffering, we stayed focused to prevent the other team attacking,” he told Globo after Tite’s side kept a seventh clean sheet in eight outings.
“Soon after, we managed to find a ball that we have worked on a lot in training, with Neymar to the near post. We were happy with that.
“From the first match until now, at certain times we’ve had difficulties, like today.
“We suffered, but I think the most important thing was that the team knew how to cope when it was under attack. It’s what [Tite] says, you have to know how to suffer.”
Silva made a crucial block to stop Mitrovic nodding home a loose ball after Alisson pushed Antonio Rukavina’s cross into a dangerous area with the score at 1-0, and the goalkeeper praised the centre-back and his partner Miranda.
“Thiago Silva and Miranda were monsters in defence. The whole team worked very well defensively, giving few chances to our opponents and being effective up front when needed. Qualifying is very important,” said Alisson.