Brazil flexed its muscles in the very first knockout game of the FIFA World Cup easily dismantling South Korea at Stadium 974 to reach the quarterfinals in some style.
Vinicius Junior, a returning Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta were all on target inside the first 45 minutes as their 4-1 win sent a stark reminder of their quality to the rest of the teams still standing in the competition.
South Korea, whose appearance in the round of 16 was nothing short of a miracle, looked out of their depth from the first whistle with Real Madrid’s Vini jr taking just 7 minutes to open the scoring against them.
A cross from Raphinha found him unmarked at the back post and the winger calmly curled a shot into the side netting.
Just six minutes later Jung Woo-Young fouled Richarlison in the penalty area and Neymar beat Kim Seung-Gyu from the spot to give Brazil a cushion.
The goal was Neymar’s 76th for his international side, leaving him just one short of tying Pele for most goals scored in the country’s jersey.
Richarlison made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark after a clever linkup with Thiago Silva before Paqueta finished off a counter-attack for his side’s 4th goal in the 36th minute.
Brazil did not take many risks with the game already in the bag and South Korea managed to get a consolation goal through Paik Seung-Ho in the 76th minute but the outcome was never in doubt.
After the game, the whole team held up a banner wishing well to Pele as he battles illness in Sao Paulo.
Brazil, one of the favourites to lift the FIFA World Cup, face a tougher challenge than South Korea next with 2018 finalists Croatia awaiting them in the quarterfinals.