Neymar back on the scoresheet for Brazil as they thump Korea Republic 4-1
Brazil defeated South Korea comfortably 4-1 to go to the FIFA World Cup (WC) quarterfinals, where they will play Croatia. This victory put an end to the Taegeuk Warriors' incredible World Cup journey.
Neymar's return to the field gave Brazil a boost, and the legendary flair of the Seleçao versus South Korea was evident almost right away. They also quickly made a breakthrough when Vincius Jr. was on hand to caress home from Raphinha's cutback and score Brazil's first goal in the first 45 minutes of this World Cup. And within 15 minutes, Brazil were 2-0 up. A clumsy Jung Woo-young tackle felled Richarlison in the area, and up stepped the man of the moment Neymar to move to within a goal of Pele’s national scoring record.
Richarlison added another goal to his WC total after already scoring one memorable goal this season. After impressively juggling the ball on his head, Richarlison was set free by a quick three-pass play to score his third goal of the competition and start an odd touchline celebration with coach Tite and the entire Brazil bench, who joined Richarlison in performing his trademark pigeon dance. When Lucas Paquetá thundered home Brazil's fourth goal just before the half, marking the first time they had scored four goals in the first half of a World Cup game since 1954, the game was quickly becoming embarrassing for South Korea, who were on the verge of being royally humiliated.
Although it would be unfair to blame Brazil for addressing South Korea's plea for mercy, Paulo Bento's team did manage to avoid giving up a goal in the second half. Tite made full use of Brazil's comfortable lead to withdraw players in preparation for Friday's quarterfinal, showing that he was unconcerned about a dry second half. South Korea's incredible journey comes to an end with defeat, but they can take solace from the fact that they did at least score after the interval thanks to a fantastic Paik Seung-ho goal, even though it was never going to be enough to keep them from being eliminated.