Brazil initially looked as if they would flatter to deceive again, with Neymar in particular appearing easy on the eye but with a distinct lack of cutting edge.
Even if Brazil beat Serbia, they could still finish second in the group if Switzerland manage to outdo them on goal difference in their game against Costa Rica.
In the pre-match build-up Brazil coach Tite said Neymar alone cannot "shoulder the responsibility" for his team's World Cup hopes.
Neymar was unlucky not to score 12 minutes after the restart - the excellent Coutinho finding the Paris Saint-Germain man racing behind the Serbia defence only to see his left-footed shot blocked by a quick-reacting Stojkovic.
"A lot has changed in my life and my career", he said. "In four years, I really developed a lot".
U.S. military dominance in space could reignite arms race, Russian Federation warns
President Trump announced his plan to establish a sixth branch of the armed forces dedicated to protecting Americans.in space. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to "carry that assignment out", Dunford replied, "We got it".
Marcelo is widely considered to be the best left-back in European football.
Then Silva headed home from a Neymar corner kick to make it 2-0, ending any chance Serbia had of moving on. The victory was good for first place. "It was really hard for us to play Brazil, it just a higher class of opponent", Matic said.
Switzerland also advanced after a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica and will next face Sweden on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.
Mitrovic's shot had gone behind Alisson and was heading toward goal, but Silva got there in time to clear it away.
In all competitions, Brazil are unbeaten in 13 matches (W9 D4 L0), conceding just three goals in that run.
The wind was taken out of Serbia's sails and Brazil confidently saw out the final stages, Stojkovic doing well to thwart Neymar in stoppage time as the Selecao avoided the humiliating group-stage exit that befell fellow heavyweights and defending champions Germany earlier in the day.