Brazil continued their pursuit of a record-extending sixth World Cup title with a clinical 4-1 win over South Korea in the Round of 16 on Monday. Vinicius Junior opened the scoring inside seven minutes before Neymar added another from the penalty spot to move to 76 goals for his country, leaving him just one away from equalling Pele’s record tally. Richarlison tripled the lead for Brazil while Lucas Paqueta added another before half-time to leave South Korea shellshocked. Paik Seung-ho scored a sensational goal for South Korea in the second half, but Brazil was too good to be beaten in the round-of-16 game.
After the victory, Brazil forwards Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Raphinha and midfielder Lucas Paqueta were seen showing ‘Samba dance’ moves at Stadium 974, the venue of the match.
There were no signs of the limp or the swollen ankle that had sidelined Neymar at the World Cup.
There was a goal, though.
Neymar scored from the penalty spot in the 13th minute to help Brazil beat South Korea 4-1 and advance to the quarterfinals for the eighth straight World Cup.
The forward’s 76th goal moved him one shy of Pelé’s all-time scoring record for Brazil’s national team. Vinícius Júnior, Richarlison and Lucas Paquetá also scored for Brazil at Stadium 974.
Neymar hadn’t played since injuring his right ankle in the team’s opening match against Serbia. Brazil coach Tite had said Neymar would play from the start against South Korea depending on how he did in training on Sunday.
Neymar was substituted in the 80th and said he felt fine.
“I didn’t feel anything on the ankle,” he said. “I think I played well, but there is always room for improvement.”
Danilo injured his ankle in Brazil’s opener and joined Neymar in the starting lineup against South Korea. He played at left-back, though, because Alex Sandro remained sidelined with a hip injury. The other left back, Alex Telles, was dropped from the squad because of a knee injury sustained in Brazil’s loss to Cameroon in its last group game. Central defender Éder Militão was playing right back.
Gabriel Jesus also was dropped from the squad because of a knee injury.