World Cup score: Brazil dance past South Korea as Neymar scores in return, Richarlison and Vini Jr. shine

Brazil advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after beating South Korea 4-1 on Monday. Tite’s team scored twice in the first 15 minutes to put that to bed as Vinicius Jr. And Neymar both found the net, the latter returning from an ankle injury to convert a penalty kick. All four Brazilian goals came in the first half with Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta also finding the net as Brazil dazzled with efficiency and flair, silencing doubters who questioned an attack that scored just three goals in the group stage.

South Korea dominated from start to finish but got a consolation goal with about 15 minutes to go from Seung-ho Park. Brazil had 18 shots and nine on frame while South Korea put six of their eight shots on target.

The South Americans will now face Croatia on Friday in the quarter-finals with the winner taking on Argentina’s victory against the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Here are three takeaways from the match – and while you’re at it, sign up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory, including daily World Cup updates here.

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Brazil danced away the doubters

With just three goals in the group stage and then losing 1-0 to Cameroon to end group play, the rumblings could be heard all the way from Rio de Janeiro as to whether Brazil would be able to click and show they are true contenders. It only took 29 minutes. In what was an emphatic and delightful display, Brazil displayed the flair and elegance that made so many fall in love with the teams latest iteration. It almost felt like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo were all out there carving a defense apart and doing it in style.

Just look at the audacity shown on Richarlison’s goal to make it 3-0.

Then, Vinicius Jr. does things like this:

Vinicius also decided to put small balls in the box in search of style points and goals:

What a show it was. There were just as many dances as goals with Tite even getting into the dancing with Richarlison. It was the performance everyone was waiting for from Brazil, cementing themselves as the favorites to win it all and looking stellar in the process. Who can stop them?

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Neymar should have come off sooner

Neymar returned to the starting XI after the ankle injury saw him miss the group’s last two games. He converted a penalty and looked pretty good, 81 minutes strong. The extra minute in the second half was a bit unnecessary even though it was 4-0 at the break, and he seemed like a natural choice to come off. Maybe it’s that swollen ankle image tattooed in my brain, and we’re not privy to the team’s internal discussions, but Tite certainly thought there was a low risk of injury to keep him there as long as he did. But with Neymar’s injury history and how often he’s fouled, you always have a little worry.

Neymar was worried… but not about the game, rather that his entire World Cup was over after the injury.

“I was very scared because I was very good, after a very good season. Suffering an injury like I did is very difficult. I spent the other night crying a lot. My family knows, but it all worked out. It is worth the effort,” Neymar said, according to Globo.

Fortunately for Brazil, he made it through the match unscathed again, with a goal and now with even more confidence ahead of facing Croatia. That’s scary to think.

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South Korea’s GK to thank for keeping it close

It could have been a 6-1 or 7-1 game if it wasn’t for South Korea goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu. He made five saves on the night, some coming right in the heart of the box. Considering practice is never fun, but he put together a valiant display as his defenders just couldn’t compete.

Getting Kim Min-jae at center back was always going to help, but even four versions of him could have stopped Brazil on the day.

Kim, on the other hand, prevented what could have been a very embarrassing scoreline with an admirable performance and some crucial stops. He probably won’t remember much, but his teammate will surely appreciate the effort and keeping it borderline decent.



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