Neymar double helps Brazil thrash South Korea 5-1 in friendly

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar scored two penalties as Brazil thumped Asian powerhouse South Korea 5-1 in a friendly at Seoul Thursday.

South Korea star Son Heung-min had urged his teammates 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 equalize through Hwang Ui-jo, more Brazil goals were inevitable such was its dominance.

Alex Sandro proved key to getting Brazil back in front as he won two penalties either side of halftime, 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 route.

Brazil’s purposeful start saw Thiago Silva have a goal disallowed for offside within 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 was back on top by halftime, though. A video assistant referee (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 guilty, and Neymar ensured the outcome was identical.

The PSG forward scored his 72nd and 73rd goals for his country to close on Pele’s record of 77 for Brazil.

Coutinho later 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.

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

Japan was also in action Thursday, beating Paraguay 4-1 from Takuma Asano, Daichi Kamada, Kaoru Mitoma and Ao Tanaka.

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