An irrepressible, irresistible Brazil lit up the evening sky on Monday with one of many performances of the World Cup to shred South Korea 4-1 and arrange a quarterfinal conflict with Croatia.
The Brazilians introduced a seashore soccer swagger to the enduring Stadium 974 with a show that merely overwhelmed the Koreans, and introduced an finish to Asian hopes on the event.
After Japan’s penalty shootout loss to Croatia earlier, and Australia’s loss to Argentina, it implies that all three Asian Confederation groups had been eradicated within the first knockout spherical.
Having failed to attain within the first half of any match up to now this event, five-time champion Brazil corrected that with 4 targets earlier than the break, to finish the match as any significant contest early on.
It took solely seven minutes to breach the Korean defence for the primary time.
Raphina sliced by way of the crimson wall — leaving a number of of its bricks flailing on the bottom — and, when his cross eluded the closely-marked Neymar, Vinicius Jr was on the far submit, an image of composure, to softly carry the ball over scrambling defenders and the desperately reaching goalkeeper.
If the Koreans had been winded by that early blow, worse was but to return. 5 minutes later, Richarlison was hauled down within the penalty field and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Neymar for a sport of cat-and-mouse with Kim Seung-gyu. The Korean stood to the far proper of his purpose. Neymar waited, smiling. Lastly, he trotted in direction of the ball in his faltering run-up and left the wrong-footed ‘keeper sitting in the middle of his goal as he stroked the ball home for his 76th Brazil goal — one shy of the great Pele’s worldwide haul.
Brazil was effervescent in assault and organised in defence, proscribing the South Koreans to lengthy pictures. By the half-hour mark it was 3-0, due to the most effective targets of the event.
Richarlison received the ball again in an aerial duel, stored it by heading it a number of instances – receiving a head within the face for his bother – then juggling it together with his foot earlier than shedding and, in an astonishing transfer which scythed the Koreans to shreds, ran onto an incisive cross from captain Thiago Silva to simply beat the goalkeeper.
Lucas Paqueta bought in on the act, firing residence within the thirty sixth minute for 4-0. Brazil had an excessive amount of high quality up entrance, and was being given far an excessive amount of area.
That Brazil went in solely 4-0 up was as a lot to do with its profligacy as something the Koreans might muster by way of defence.
With their elaborate purpose celebrations, the Brazilians had finished extra dancing than defending within the opening 45 minutes and the second half adopted the same sample, with goalkeeper Kim single-handedly denying Brazil one other hatful of targets.
The yellow-clad superstars launched wave after wave of assault as a ragged Korea tried to carry on for honour.
A extra prosaic facet would have added a number of targets early within the second half, however seemingly you can not flip Brazil on and off, and probabilities went begging attributable to overly elaborate flicks or backheels when the straightforward resolution would have labored greatest.
It got here again to chunk the facet when Korean substitute Paik Seung-ho thundered residence an extended distance screamer, aided by a slight deflection, to reward the crimson workforce for its infinite business with a comfort purpose.
Brazil noticed the sport out – spurning half a dozen good probabilities earlier than the tip – earlier than unfurling a banner of Pele, and dancing as soon as extra to have a good time with followers.