Back problems for Brazil
Brazil's shoddy defence still hasn't got its act together
When the half-time whistle sounded, 67,042 voices at Morumbi Stadium, Sao Paulo, united as one collective jeer.
Brazil were nothing to shout about in the first 45 minutes of their friendly against Serbia yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The spectators didn't find anything spectacular to crow about after the break either.
The 1-0 win, courtesy of a well-executed goal by Fred in the second half, keeps the momentum going though.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, starved of competitive matches as they automatically qualified for this World Cup as hosts, now have nine victories in nine friendlies.
Yet, this was a win they didn't deserve.
If anything, this should serve as a final warning to a shoddy Brazilian defence that still hasn't gotten its act together.
If Serbia were chosen for this friendly because of their similarity of style to Brazil's opening-game opponents, Croatia, then the Samba Boys are in for a tough assignment in five days' time.
Scolari went for the tried-and-tested in their final rehearsal, probably hoping for a reassuring performance to calm nerves and breed confidence ahead of their title charge.
What he got in return, however, were shocking lapses in concentration and glaring errors from an established back four.
Thiago Silva and David Luiz called the shots from the middle, while Marcelo took up position on the left and Dani Alves occupied the opposite flank.
This was the same defensive line-up that helped them go all the way in last year's Confederations Cup, where they brushed aside Spain 3-0 in the final.
But, if they can't do better than yesterday, then they won't go anywhere near as far in the upcoming World Cup.
Serbia, who finished third in their qualifying group three points behind runners-up Croatia, tormented the home defence throughout the match.
If Brazil's backline was hoping for some midfield protection from Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho, they didn't get much.
Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov pretty much roamed without obstruction on the left side, and after 30 minutes, could have already scored a goal and set up another.
Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, too, powered through the middle with minimal resistance.
Milos Jojic easily towered above Marcelo to head a cross against the post.
Lazar Markovic beat three defenders like he was on skates but, luckily for Brazil, Julio Cesar was alert enough to keep out his shot.
At times, Brazil's defending bordered on the comical.
Once in the first half, centre backs Silva and Luiz went for the same ball, then stopped simultaneously like a pair of well-drilled synchronised swimmers.
Markovic scored from the error, but the effort was rightly ruled out for offside.
Adding to the spectators' ire was the creaky attack that came nowhere near what they are capable of.
Golden boy Neymar's brilliance was rare and fleeting.
Hulk made the switch from the right to the left midway through the first half, in a desperate attempt to freshen things up.
Oscar's ineffectiveness was equally worrying for the hosts.
Fred, the point man, redeemed himself with the winning goal just before the hour mark.
But Scolari's body language at the final whistle suggested that he was in no mood to celebrate the hard-fought victory.
His Brazil two years in the making didn't look anywhere close to conquering the world.