In many ways, this was a classic football tragedy.
One team played with adventure and skill, the other was defending for much of the 120 minutes. But that's football, that's the sport. And sure, Serbia were limited but also incredibly courageous. This was their fourth consecutive extra time match - in 11 days - and they simply wanted it more.
You had to admire their resolve yesterday. After barely seeing the ball in extra time, they took advantage of some naive Brazilian defending (definitely not the first time that sentence has been written) to score a late breakaway winner. Serbia's defence was outstanding. The twin towers in the centre (1.93m Milos Veljkovic and 1.95m Srdan Babuc) repelled everything, and in front of them was a defensive shield of Death Star proportions.
And Serbia's goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic, who took the Golden Glove award, was the difference. He was momentous.
"Yes, of course we were lucky but luck is the battle in this game and you have to deserve to be lucky," said coach Velijko Paunovic. "Brazil is an amazing team - they had a lot of chances but so did we. We are a team, we play as one. ."
The stadium experience was again a bit of a shambles. The concourse often resembled a Tokyo subway station, with a heaving mass of people and nowhere to go. And it's never fun instructed by a burly security guard to "please return to your [uncovered] seat" when it's raining and between matches.
But there could be no complaints about the game. Often finals are an anti-climax but this was a beauty. Some wonderful football, a stunning goal and plenty of drama, not to mention a spectacular dumping of rain in extra time.
Brazil honoured the legacy of the famous yellow shirts - both good and bad. They produced some sumptuous football, with their signature technical play. There were 'nutmegs' and a move that looked like the football version of basketball's alley-oop. But there were also typically-shaky defensive moments, which contributed to both Serbian goals.
One nearby spectator was heard comparing this Serbian team to the dour Greece side of 2004. That's a bit harsh - this team has more imagination - but there are similarities. Serbia have the same fighting spirit, organisation and set piece threat. They pack their defence and counter attack rapidly. It's ain't pretty but maybe it's the face of modern football.
That's not to say they don't have class, particularly midfielder Andrija Zivkovic.
Brazil started the second half with a surge, but still couldn't beat Rajkovic, whose value must have been multiplying by the minute for watching scouts.
Serbia hardly had the ball - with 37 per cent possession - but it was enough.
After going close through Milan Gajic - who forced a great reflex save from Brazil goalkeeper Jean - they took the lead in the 70th minute. The Europeans broke down the right and unmarked striker Stansia Mandic converted at the far post.
The lead lasted only three minutes, as substitute Andreas Pereira scored the goal of the tournament. The Manchester United midfielder beat four players before finishing from a tight angle.
Brazil had a number of great chances in extra time before Nemanja Maksimovic's heroics, the midfielder coolly slotting the most important goal of his life after being played onside by Brazil's defence.
Mali claimed third place with an entertaining 3-1 over Senegal, with Golden Ball winner Adama Traore scoring a brace.
Serbia 2 (S Mandic 70', N Maksimovic 118') Brazil 1 (A Pereira 73'). Halftime: 0-0.