A pair of Neymar penalties helped Brazil start their 2022 FIFA World Cup preparations with a comprehensive 5-1 win over South Korea in an international friendly on Thursday. English Premier League stars Richarlison, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus were also on the scoresheet. (More Football News)
It was a chastening evening for the South Koreans with the five-time world champion too strong in all areas of the field. Richarlison silenced the 66,000 fans who filled Seoul World Cup Stadium to capacity after just seven minutes with an opportunistic strike.
The Everton forward diverted a low shot from Fred high into the South Korean net from close range. South Korea will make a 10th successive FIFA World Cup appearance in Qatar later this year in a group with Uruguay, Portugal and Ghana.
It struggled to get joint EPL golden boot winner Son Heung-min into the game but was back on level terms on the half-hour with a well-worked goal. Wolverhampton attacker Hwang Hee-chan found Hwang Ui-jo in the area and the Bordeaux striker turned Thiago Silva to fire a shot past the diving Weverton.
Brazil were back ahead three minutes before the break after a penalty was given following a foul on Alex Sandro. Neymar sent Kim Seung-gyu the wrong way to roll the ball into the net. The pattern was repeated just before the hour.
The lively Juventus wingback was again brought down in the area and Neymar again waited for the goalkeeper to commit himself before calmly stroking the ball home for his 73rd goal for Brazil, just four fewer than leading goalscorer Pele.
With 10 minutes remaining, Coutinho, a replacement for the substituted Neymar, added a fourth by smashing a loose ball into the top corner. In the final seconds another substitute, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, completed a perfect evening for the South Americans after running through the backline.
Brazil, who take on Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon at the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stages, continue their preparations by facing Japan on Monday as South Korea host Chile.