Brazil needed a moment of quality from Fred to beat Serbia as they claimed a narrow 1-0 win in their final game before the FIFA World Cup.
Having not been tested by Panama in midweek, Brazil were at full-strength for the clash against Ljubinko Drulovic's side.
They were restrained for large spells, however, and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will be aware improvement is required despite Fred's well-taken winner.
The only goal of the game came after 58 minutes when the Fluminense forward brought down a long ball on his chest under pressure from Branislav Ivanovic and Dusan Basta.
Despite stumbling, he kept his nerve to finish past Vladimir Stojkovic and Serbia were unable to respond.
Brazil's victory may do little to fill an expectant nation with great confidence. However, with Neymar getting almost 80 minutes of action on his road to full fitness and Fred scoring his first in Brazil colours since the Confederations Cup, there are reasons for the hosts to be optimistic.
After a lively opening from both sides, Aleksandar Kolarov threatened first when he struck an effort wide of Julio Cesar's left-hand post after nine minutes.
Neymar then almost benefited from a block that fortuitously landed in his path - only for Ivanovic to produce a well-timed last-ditch tackle.
A combination of tenacious and robust defending helped keep Brazil's forwards well shackled, although Fred was next to threaten - his dipping strike veering off target 24 minutes in.
David Luiz was forced into a hurried clearance following Kolarov's fierce delivery before Aleksandar Mitrovic wasted the best chance of the half, heading wide with the goal at his mercy.
Luiz and Thiago Silva, who will team up at Paris Saint-Germain from next season, then got mixed up close to half-time, but an offside flag rescued Brazil as Lazar Markovic converted.
Scolari swapped Oscar for Willian at the break, presumably in an effort to shake things up, but Brazil still looked somewhat out of sorts.
Indeed, Dusan Tadic perhaps could have opened the scoring for Serbia had he gambled on reaching a cross lofted into the hosts' box.
Fred subsequently ensured first blood went to Brazil - cleverly chesting Thiago's delivery to take Ivanovic out of the game before prodding home the opener.
Neymar, lively but far from his dangerous best, then flashed an effort over the crossbar as his side sought to make the scoreline more emphatic.
There were to be no more goals, although Serbia's Milos Jojic and Brazil forward Jo hit the woodwork in the closing stages.
Brazil open their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 12 and will be hopeful of a more fluent display.
|Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari|
for Oscar 46'
for Paulinho 65'
for Dani Alves 72'
for Fred 75'
for Marcelo 76'
for Neymar 81'
|FIFA confirms third-party ownership ban|
|Inter v Lazio: Ranocchia wants to build momentum|
|Rodgers hits out at Sterling criticism|
|Pardew backs Colback to shine against Sunderland|
|Minimal recovery time a concern for Bauza|
|Liverpool v Arsenal: Wenger out to avoid repeat performance|
|Newcastle United v Sunderland: Pardew calls for a derby day show|
|Adebayor available for Burnley clash|
|Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid: Simeone´s men eye fitting response|
|Targett commits to Southampton|
|Garcia vows to attack Milan|
|City still without strike trio for Palace test|
|Courtois set for return at Stoke|
|Di Maria set for possible United return at Villa|
|Neymar in frame for Cordoba match|
|FIFA to publish Garcia report|
|Liverpool will not appeal Balotelli ban|
|A-League: Newcastle Jets 2 Adelaide United 1|
|Fournier eyes Fekir stay and attacking reinforcements|
|Abidal announces retirement ahead of potential Barca return|
|Redknapp: Crouch deal not possible|
|Klaassen laments Ajax ´off-day´|
|Wenger not fearful of another Anfield nightmare|
|Whelan wants to extend Stoke stay|
|Kalou eyes Hertha exit|
|Fellaini: Belief growing of title tilt at United|
|Benteke: Villa transfer request was a mistake|
|Gerrard urges Sterling to stay put|
|Pardew calls for calm ahead of derby clash|
|Kerala Blasters v Atletico de Kolkata: Luis Garcia talks up team ahead of final|
|Monk wants three new Swansea signings|
|Koeman plays down Sneijder link|
|Howard targets another World Cup|
|Inzaghi prepared for Stadio Olimpico atmosphere|
|Toronto expect Defoe to return|
|Rodriguez suffers injury setback|
|Klopp denies Dortmund departure plans|
|Copa del Rey Review: Bilbao and Elche edge through, Madrid derby beckons|
|Simeone refuses to criticise Atleti display|
|Serie A Review: Juventus and Napoli brush aside lowly opponents|
|Allegri and Juve ride through unusual Cagliari approach|
|Agent - Hernandez not giving up at Real|
|Atletico Madrid 2 L´Hospitalet 2 (5-2 agg): Spectacular Alcaraz double seals draw for minnows|
|Bruce: Ben Arfa has played his last game for Hull|
|Cagliari 1 Juventus 3: Juve ease into mid-season lead|
|Howard: Mignolet fighting for his Anfield career|
|Aston Villa v Manchester United: Visitors aim to stretch impressive run|
|QPR v West Brom: Irvine enjoying fruits of his labour|
|Balotelli banned for one match over controversial image|
|West Ham v Leicester City: Allardyce wary of fatigue|
|Hull City v Swansea City: Monk dismisses one-man-team tag|
|Dawson set to miss up to five weeks|
|De Boer coy on Ajax exit rumours|
|Hughes keen for Crouch stay|
|Lambert reiterates no issue with Keane|
|Inzaghi confident of ´great things´ for Milan|
|Barcelona v Cordoba: Catalans aim to end year in style|
|Koeman rules out Sneijder move|
|Southampton v Everton: Martinez ignoring hosts´ slump|
|Roma v Milan: Mexes targeting greater consistency|
|Jardim wary of Monaco fatigue|
|Tottenham v Burnley: Bentaleb sets sights on top four|
|Manchester City v Crystal Palace: Warnock has no fear|
|Wenger hopeful on duo for Liverpool clash|
|Alonso and Lewandowski out of Mainz clash|
|Cruz Azul v Auckland City: Tena wants Real reaction|
|Warnock: Palace have no chance of signing Cole|
|Allardyce in no rush for contract talks|
|Uche signs Villarreal extension|
|League One Preview: Sheffield United and Yeovil back in league action after cup exploits|
|Real Madrid v San Lorenzo: Casillas set for landmark appearance in final|
|Ronaldo more impressive than Messi, says Carlos|
|Poyet desperate for recruitments|
|Palace suffer Chamakh blow|
|Germany end year at top of FIFA rankings|
|Martinez calms Mirallas injury fears|
|Clayton ruled out for the season|
|Cabaye pleased to play full game|
|Klopp upbeat despite late equaliser|
|Cech: We can be best ever Chelsea side|
|Newcastle face goalkeeper crisis ahead of derby|
|Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund: Bundesliga stugglers targeting morale-boosting win|
|Medellin 1 Santa Fe 2: Visitors fight back to win|
|Barcelona 1 Emelec 1: Ecuadorian Primera A Third Stage play-off evenly poised|
|Sporting Cristal 0 Juan Aurich 0: Third leg required to decide Peruvian champions|
|Bauza ´delighted´ after San Lorenzo reach final|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Montpellier: PSG look to build|
|Bundesliga Preview: Bayern seeking to extend unbeaten start before winter break|
|Contra, Michel join Guangzhou R&F|
|Naismith signs Everton extension|
|Palestino 3 Santiago Wanderers 1: Title drought almost over for hosts|
|Copa del Rey Review: Finnbogason breaks drought in Sociedad win|
|Coupe de la Ligue Review: PSG scrape into quarters, Lille, Monaco win on penalties|
|Worcester City 1 Scunthorpe United 1 (aet, 13-14 on pens): League side narrowly avoid shock|
|Stambouli hails ´perfect´ Tottenham|
|Goals win games - Pardew|
|Bundesliga Review: Dortmund held by late equaliser, Leverkusen beat Bremen|
|PSV 4 Feyenoord 3: De Jong hat-trick helps settle thriller|
|Rodgers hails ´brilliant´ Liverpool|
|Eredivisie Preview: Leaders PSV take on struggling Eagles|
|Madoui hails second-half display|
|Championship Preview: Reading´s Clarke era begins at Watford|
|Liverpool to meet Chelsea in League Cup semi-finals|
|San Lorenzo 2 Auckland City 1: Extra time required to book Real final|
|AC Ajaccio 1 PSG 3: Late show sends holders through|
|Bournemouth 1 Liverpool 3: Sterling brace helps ease pressure|
|Tottenham 4 Newcastle United 0: Pochettino´s men march into semi-finals|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Wolfsburg 2: Naldo denies Klopp´s strugglers|
|League Two Preview: Moore looks for fighting spirit, Accrington aim to bounce back|
|Allegri has suspension overturned|
|ES Setif 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (5-4 on pens): Algerians rely on penalties to finish fifth|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Fournier not expecting to claim top spot, Marseille entertain Lille|
|Indian Super League Review: Kerala through to face Kolkata in final|
|Lasogga suffers thigh strain|
|Michael Garcia FIFA resignation notice in full|
|Bayern draw not ideal - Lucescu|
|Garcia resigns from FIFA role|
|Mainz v Bayern Munich: Bavarians on brink of more records|
|Garcia to fight two-match ban|
|Green backs Mignolet to return stronger|
|Mandzukic and Koke to lead inexperienced Atleti XI|
|Fonte apologises to fans after cup defeat|
|Metz suspend Maiga after unauthorised absence|
|Agent: Cole settled at Roma|
|Bayern duo sign new deals|
|Allegri calls for Juve focus ahead of Cagliari trip|
|Pearson accepts FA charge after fan row|
|Mourinho rules out January signings|
|Schaars set for PSV absence after knee surgery|
|Traore wants more Barca chances|
|Hamann hopes Liverpool receive cup boost|
|Lukaku wants Everton to produce Premier League best in Europe|
|La Liga Preview: Barca host Cordoba, Atletico travel to Bilbao|
|A-League Preview: Berisha crucial for Milligan-less Victory|
|Tena: Real ´by far the better team´|
|Blanc avoids Mourinho mind games, hails retiring Henry|
|Hecking convinced Dortmund remain dangerous|
|United´s Jones insists injuries are behind him|
|Henry: Managing Arsenal is my dream|
|Hard to imagine a better performance - Luis Enrique|
|Copa del Rey Review: Goals rain in Spain|
|Benatia to sit out Mainz clash|
|Koeman slams ´disrespectful´ Sheffield United|