Brazil hit top gear with Neymar back in the line-up to brush aside South Korea 4-1 on Monday and ease into the quarter-finals of the Fifa World Cup where they will face Croatia.
Vinicius Junior opened the scoring inside seven minutes before Neymar added another from the penalty spot to move to 76 goals for his country, leaving him just one away from equalling Pele’s all-time record tally.
The ailing Pele watched from his hospital bed in Sao Paulo where the 82-year-old was admitted last Tuesday amid ongoing treatment for colon cancer.
He will have enjoyed Richarlison’s dazzling goal to make it 3-0 before Lucas Paqueta added another before half-time, all celebrated with dance routines as Brazil’s supporters roared their approval.
Paik Seung-ho pulled a goal back for the Koreans when the Brazilians took their foot off the pedal, but their thoughts had already turned to Friday’s quarter-final clash with 2018 runners-up Croatia.
It was the first time that Brazil had scored four goals in a World Cup knockout game since 1998 and the performance rapped out a warning to their rivals that they have a sixth title in their sights.
“We are dreaming of winning the title, that’s obvious, but we have to go step by step,” Neymar said.
Here are some reactions to Brazil’s win over South Korea:
Inputs from AFP