Brazil put on a show and danced in their way to a narrow 4-1 victory against South Korea in their World Cup round-of-16 game at the Qatari Stadium 974 in the early hours of Monday.
Vinicius Junior Neymar Richarlison, Vinicius Junior and Lucas Paqueta were all on the scoresheet during an impressive first half as Brazil made it to the quarterfinal game against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia on Dec. 9.
Neymar was absent from Brazil’s two final group games due to an injury to his ankle in Serbia as well Danilo was back in the first XI at Tite while the Selecao in their pursuit of the sixth World Cup title.
In the presence of 82-year old Brazil legend Pele watching the team from the hospital where he was being treated for a respiratory disease Vinicius was quick in getting his team ahead by taking on a cross from Raphinha which found him not adrift at the back post and then securing his shot into the side net.
“Let’s hope that we can continue dancing until the end,” Vinicius said. “And we’re sending a big kiss to Pele. We’re hoping he’ll recover quickly.”
Jung Woo-Young from South Korea was fouled by Richarlison within the first minute after the opener , giving Neymar an opportunity to extend the advantage. Neymar was the Paris Saint-Germain star made no error from the spot and sent goalkeeper Kim Seung Gyu in the wrong direction to make it 2-0 in just 15 minutes.
Neymar scored his 76th goal for Brazil and he is one shy of equalizing Pele for the most goals scored by Brazil’s iconic yellow shirt.
“We’re in the process of achieving the title, yes,” Brazilian talisman Neymar declared. “Today is the 4th game and there are only three games remaining. We’re extremely focused on securing the title.”
Richarlison scored 3-0 just within the first half hour by slipping one of the most effortless goals to the South Korean goal following some incredible individual skill and clever play with Thiago Silva in the middle in the penalty box.
For their fourth goal in their first-half, Brazil scored against a helpless South Korea with a counter-attack which resulted in Neymar feed Vinicius who picked up a cross to allow Paqueta, who was rushing to the goal, to side-foot in the goal with his first strike.
Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur forced an excellent save from Alisson shortly following the start of play, while Raphinha was denied twice at the other end of the pitch as the Brazilian tried to increase Brazil’s score.
Despite being able to hold Brazil without a goal during the second half, and scoring a spectacular late goal of consolation with Paik Seung-Ho the damage was accomplished when the South Korean’s World Cup came to an end in the face of high-flying tournament favorites.
After the game, Brazil players took a group picture and held the banner depicting Pele in order to wish him a good luck.