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South Korea 1-5 Brazil: Neymar penalties help Selecao ease to victory
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Ryan Benson
Stats Perform
Neymar celebrates one of his penalties
Neymar celebrates one of his penalties

Neymar scored two penalties as Brazil cruised to an entertaining 5-1 friendly win over South Korea in Seoul on Thursday.

South Korea star Son Heung-min had urged his team-mates to be fearless against the top-ranked side in international football, but they were outclassed for much of the match by Tite's men.

A scrappy Richarlison opener had Brazil in charge as early as the seventh minute and, although the hosts did equalise through Hwang Ui-jo, more Brazil goals were inevitable such was their dominance.

Alex Sandro proved key to getting Brazil back in front as he won two penalties either side of half-time, with Neymar outsmarting the goalkeeper on both occasions to put the game beyond South Korea before substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus finished off the rout.

Brazil's purposeful start saw Thiago Silva have a goal disallowed for offside inside two minutes, though they did not have to wait much longer to legitimately take the lead as Richarlison deflected Fred's strike into the net.

After wasting several chances in something of an onslaught, the Selecao were pegged back just past the half-hour mark – Hwang held off Silva, spun into the box and shot into the bottom-left corner.

Dominant Brazil were back on top by half-time, though. A VAR review spotted Lee Yong catching Alex Sandro in the box and Neymar coolly converted.

A similar incident occurred 10 minutes into the second half, with Kim Young-Gwon this time culpable, and Neymar ensured the outcome was identical.

Coutinho emphatically found the top-right corner just after replacing Neymar to increase Brazil's handsome lead, before Jesus slotted home at the end of a darting run to round off an impressive day's work for the Selecao.

What does it mean? Brazil flex their muscles

There are not many meaningful conclusions we can draw from friendly games, but this was an encouraging preview of what Brazil could offer at the World Cup.

Allowing their many attacking stars to thrive together in the same team can be a challenge, though this game showed it is certainly possible, as Brazil played some wonderful football at times.

Of course, they will need to beat better opposition than South Korea if they are to win Qatar 2022, but there were few – if any – negatives on display here, which is always a good starting point less than six months out from a World Cup.

Neymar leads the way

He scored two penalties, of course, but that was just the tip of the iceberg for Neymar's contribution. He laid on eight key passes as well – that was only four fewer than the rest of the Brazil team combined.

Son fails to shine

It was not for a lack of trying, but it was not Son Heung-min's day. His three shots was the most of South Korea's players, but he could not inspire greater effectiveness in attack.

What's next?

Brazil stay in the region for a few days now ahead of facing Japan in Tokyo on Monday.


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