World Cup favourites Brazil produced a performance to delight fans and terrify potential opponents on Monday as they ripped through South Korea with four first-half goals to secure a hugely impressive 4-1 victory in their last 16 clash.
They were ahead after seven minutes when Raphinha’s low cross reached Vinicius Jr and he expertly lifted the ball above the charging goalkeeper and three defenders.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 with a Neymar penalty and Richarlison added a brilliant third after a spell of juggling then a razor combination with Marquinhos and Thiago Silva that had Brazil’s delirious fans dancing and neutrals everywhere purring.
Lucas Paqueta volleyed in the fourth after 36 minutes and the five-times champions played the second half as an exhibition, denied more goals only by impressive Korean goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu, as they turned their attention to Friday’s quarter-final meeting with Croatia.
Korea worked tirelessly and bravely to try to limit the damage and were rewarded for their own attacking efforts when Paik Seung-ho smashed in a brilliant long-range shot beyond Alisson 13 minutes from time.
Alisson Becker; Eder Militao, Thiago Silva (capt), Marquinhos, Danilo; Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro; Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Junior; Richarlison
Coach: Tite (BRA)
South Korea (4-2-3-1)
Kim Seung-gyu; Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Jin-su; Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom; Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-sung, Son Heung-min (capt); Cho Gue-sung
Coach: Paulo Bento (POR)
Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA)
(With input from agencies)