Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets on Wednesday to support their team in a 2-0 victory over Serbia, although an atmosphere of celebration had already started with the elimination of Germany in the group stage of the World Cup in Russia. Also Read - FIFA Announces New Dates For U-17 Women's World Cup in India Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Decorated with flags, hats and green and yellow costumes, the fans filled the bars and streets in Sao Paulo, where the party started early but carried on until late. Also Read - We Can Beat Oman if we Play Fearless Football: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on World Cup Qualifying Opener

At the Football Museum in Sao Paulo, dozens of couples, groups of friends and families with children occupied a grandstand inside the Pacaembu stadium to watch the 2-0 victory that guaranteed Brazil’s qualification for the Round of 16, where they will face Mexico next, on a giant screen.

Despite a rather uneven campaign on the part of Brazil, the walls of the museum shook with the bellows of the fans’ vuvuzelas and the roars when the two goals were scored by the team.

However, it is a consensus among most of them that the Canarinha “have a lot to improve” if they want to bring the Cup home.

“The national team can do much more than what they are showing on the pitch. The game against Serbia was good, but it’s far from being an extraordinary performance,” said Julian Godoy.

For him, the team started the competition “very badly”, but then “got used to” the intense rhythm and now has won the last match of the group stage “a lot better”.

A sentiment shared by many, like Jeane Silva, who celebrated the result, but believes that the five-time world champions “still owe a lot” to their fans.

For Moises Silva, who was allowed to leave work early and went to the stadium with his three young children, the elimination of Germany was the “real celebration”, something that “gave him more pleasure than the victory of Brazil.”

“Germany’s failure gives Brazil confidence and is a relief for everyone,” but even so, he added, “I expected more from the national team, because the expectations are much higher than the games we’ve seen so far.”

After the final whistle, the joy of the players on the pitch spread to the fans.

In Rio de Janeiro, the central Maua square was home to tens of thousands of people who, to the sounds of samba and with the smell of grilled meat in the air, crowded together to watch the decisive match which soon turned into a true Rio de Janeiro party.

Blown away were the ghosts of the 1-7 fiasco against Germany in the semi-finals of the last World Cup, as well as Brazil’s questionable start to the first round in Russia, when they did not manage more than a 1-1 draw against Switzerland and then went on to play a tense game against Costa Rica.

During Wednesday’s match, the Cariocas celebrated from the start, but it was after Paulinho’s goal in the first half that the party got hot, a moment when one of the fans was pointing at the ground in shock and shouted “It’s ours, it’s ours. This one comes here to Brazil.”