Silva delighted as training-ground time with Neymar pays off

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Thiago Silva heading home from Neymar's corner against Serbia was no fluke, according to the Brazil centre-back.

Thiago Silva was delighted to score from a training-ground move with Neymar in Brazil's 2-0 triumph over Serbia in Moscow on Wednesday.

Brazil clinched top spot in Group E to set up a last-16 meeting with Mexico in Samara on Monday, Paulinho opening the scoring before Silva wrapped things up in the second half .

The Paris Saint-Germain centre-back 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.

"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.

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