With each group celebration after scoring, Brazil seemed to sway to the Samba beat and get even more in sync with each other. Even the coach Tite joined Richarlison in the circular dance after scored the third goal. The celebration wasn’t just an expression of joy, rather it was a sign of Brazil putting on their dancing shoes and when they do, resistance will be futile.
When the dust settled, Brazil had beaten Korea 4-1 and advanced to the quaterfinals of the 2022 Fifa World Cup. The goals came in thick and fast in the first half and even before Kore knew it, they were in big trouble.
The first goal came after just seven minutes. The move started with Raphinha down the right, who cut the ball back for Neymar but the ball instead rolled to Vinicius Junior in the area.
He had enough time to take a couple of touches before setting himself up for the calmest of finishes into the top right.
The second goal came courtesy a Neymar penalty (13′). Richarlison was tripped in the D by Woo-Young Jung and the fit-again Neymar stepped up the spot and converted easily.
But the play of the day was the third goal. By this time, the South Korean defence was in tatters. The passes weren’t sticking, the first touches were poor and even though they were running hard, the enormity of the task ahead of them was not lost on them.
Richarlison, though, was about to make things worse for the Asian team. He juggled ball, playing keepie uppie with his head and fought off a Korean defender before passing the ball to Marquinhos and racing into the box.
Marquinhos moved it along to Thiago Silva at the top, who then passed into the channel for Richarlison to run onto and finish. This goal got the stadium buzzing and their coach dancing.
It wasn’t over yet. Neymar, Vinicius Jr and Paqueta were involved and the finish by Paqueta was a classy apart.
Just 36 minutes into the match, South Korea were four goals down and with not even the faintest idea of how will get back in the match. It was also the first time since 1954 (when they did it against Mexico) that Brazil had hammered four in the first half.
South Korea did get a consolation goal in the second half but it was too little, too late. They were playing the first half they had needed in the second half.
Brazil weren’t able to score in the second half but they still kept going at it and the performance will give them a lot of confidence going forward.
It ended up being an emphatic victory for the five-team champions and they looked like they certainly have warmed up to the task.