VOJINOVIC AP LUSAIL, Qatar Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic acknowledged the strength of the Brazil team after losing 2 -- 0 to them at the World Cup on Thursday, but was struggling to understand a strange drop in intensity from his own players.
Brazil outclassed Serbia in their opening game, as Richarlison's second-half goals sent the five-times champions top of Group G.
In the first 45 minutes, both Brazil and Serbia were on the same level, I didn't see Brazil much more dominant at that time," Stojkovic told a news conference.
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We got defeated in the second half when we literally fell physically, and we were no longer a team, and of course Brazil knew how to take advantage of this. We couldn't recognise our team. The Serbia coach stressed that their side were not fully fit, including their all-time top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was named in the starting line-up.
Stojkovic said that the fact that we came with a lot of problems to Qatar is well known.
We have a lot of injuries to deal with and that is not the right time for that, because it's among the key players of our team.
The intensity was really high in the second half, we gave too much space to the Brazilians. The key point for me is that my team was completely down, so I want to know why, because I don't. This is a surprise for me, something strange.
I have to repeat. Three key players have been injured. They got injured just before the World Cup, so it's really unlucky. Next up for Serbia are Cameroon, who lost 1 -- 0 to Switzerland on Thursday.
We need to rest for a couple of days and there will be no physical exertion. Stojkovic said that we know what our goal is and we will not give up.
It's not a shame to lose against Brazil. They are well-deserved winners. We need to figure out what's the best for us, and we need the healthiest players playing.