On Monday, Neymar helped lead Brazil to a 4-1 victory over South Korea as the tournament favorites advanced to the quarterfinals. Neymar had recently returned from injury.
The most expensive player in the world missed his team’s previous two games due to an ankle strain sustained during their 2-0 victory against Serbia in their first game in Qatar.
However, he returned for this round of 16 match as Tite’s squad got going and sent a menacing message to their competitors, at least until slowing down in the second half.
Neymar close to Pele’s record
Neymar scored another goal from the penalty spot to bring his total for goals for his nation to 76, one short of Pele’s all-time record.
Vinicius Junior had started the scoring just seven minutes earlier. After Richarlison’s outstanding goal, it was 3-0, and Lucas Paqueta added another just before halftime to leave South Korea stunned. Paik Seung-ho restored parity, but at that point, Croatia, the runners-up from last year’s tournament, was on Brazil’s mind.
Good performance by Brazil
Since 1998, the five-time World Cup champions have not scored four goals in a major knockout game. Here, the players occasionally played with the exuberance associated with the Brazilian national team, uniting to celebrate each goal by showcasing their dancing abilities, with even their coach joining in. Their performance in the first half was excellent and a suitable homage to the great Pele if they were to play within themselves.
Supporters at Doha’s Stadium 974 unfurled a banner with a get well soon message to the Brazilian star, who had stated he would watch the game from the Sao Paulo hospital where he was confined last week while undergoing continuous colon cancer treatment.
It was all a sobering experience for Son Heung-min and South Korea, who had yet to triumph in a World Cup quarterfinal game played outside of their home nation.
Lots of changes
After altering his lineup for the 1-0 defeat to Cameroon, which occurred after Brazil had already qualified for the round of 16, Tite made 10 changes to the roster for the match against Argentina. Eder Militao was the lone player to maintain his spot and switch to right-back, while Danilo made his return from injury at left-back.
Brazil vs South Korea Highlights
Brazil’s first-choice defense, which included Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Alisson Becker back in goal, promptly ended the match thanks to their strikers.
When Raphinha dribbled past Kim Jin-su on the right and sent the ball across the goal, Vinicius calmly found the open goal in the seventh minute. This was their team’s first shot on goal.
After Richarlison was fouled by Jung Woo-young, they were awarded a penalty, which Neymar duly converted against Kim Seung-gyu, giving him six straight goals for Brazil after being awarded the spot-kick.
Hwang Hee-wicked chan’s long-range attempt was subsequently deflected by Alisson, but just before the half-hour mark, Brazil scored their third goal.
A few minutes out of the box, Richarlison juggled the ball three times before passing it off to Marquinhos and then continuing into the box, where Silva’s pass enabled him to score his third goal of the World Cup. Towards the end of the game, Paqueta scored their fourth with a first-time finish after hitting a Vinicius ball held up from the sideline.
Despite Raphinha being stopped by the goalkeeper many times, they could have added more in the second half if they hadn’t let up.
The Brazilian goalie was subsequently substituted for the last 10 minutes by Weverton, and Neymar was also removed because Tite was focused on Croatia.
However, Korea should be commended for persevering because they were rewarded within the last quarter-hour when replacement Paik pulled down a headed clearance and sent in a fierce effort from 25 yards out that past Alisson despite Silva’s block.
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