In demonstration, the Seleçao made short work of South Korea on Monday, at the 974 stadium, in the round of 16 of the World Cup. Next, Croatia.
Special Envoy to Doha
«May God bless and protect us“, Claimed Neymar before the round of 16 of the World Cup of “his” Brazil and South Korea. His prayers have been heard. And more. The Seleçao won 4-1 at the 974 stadium in Doha and thus confirmed its ticket for the quarterfinals, with an appointment made for Friday, already, against the Croatian vice-world champions, qualified on penalties against in Japan earlier (1-1 ap, 3-1 tab). A demonstration, a butcher’s shop, a walk. And a message to the rest of the competition…
Neymar? He was there, it was the first information of the evening. There, very present, and even titular. “He will play again in the competition“, promised Tite after Brazil-Serbia (2-0), first match and first victory of the Seleçao in Doha. The day, also and above all, of the injury of the Parisian, sprained right ankle. His tears, the questions, an air of deja-vu… The coach had removed the doubt as to his participation on Sunday, sparing the suspense as to a tenure. To see number 10 teaser all day on social networks, including this photo of his son with “Pelé” written on his face, we quickly understood that there would be no need to wait to see him in action. Barely returned, already on deck. And he was indeed in the starting 11, like Danilo for the rest. Not Alex Sandro nor Alex Telles, packages on the left. Eder Militao to replace them. Although, it was the other ghost, the back … right Danilo, who played on the left, with Eder Militao on the right. Always Lucas Paqueta alongside Casemiro, classic by the way.
Read alsoSamba in Doha, Neymar show, tribute to Pelé… Our special envoy’s favourites/label after Brazil-South Korea
Unstoppable, unplayable, irresistible
A sacred armada. Brazil did not land in Qatar with the label of the favorite for nothing… Son Heung-min and his little comrades paid to see. The case was folded in 45 minutes by a diabolical Brazil of efficiency, impressive technique: four shots on target at three, four goals to nothing. Unstoppable. Unplayable. Irresistible. Paqueta, Richarlison and Ney lowered the average in stoppage time, before Mr. Turpin’s whistle.
Before that, Neymar quickly showed his legs, often looking for Richarlison, provoking, dribbling. The Parisian, however, failed to take over this center from Raphinha. Vinicius, if (1-0, 7th). In the juice, the South Koreans were taken like blues by Raphinha, again him, who caused a penalty and offered the opportunity to Ney to add a 76th goal to his collection (2-0, 11th). Obviously no apprehension for the Brazilian playmaker, who did not hesitate to make contact, delighting the stadium, 90% all dressed in yellow, with his arabesques. Neymar very high, in the front two in the defensive phase. This small roulette to get out of the marking of two opponents and… of Turpin was worth a look (27th). Not as much as this exceptional action, with Richarlison in “Foquinha” mode at the start and finish, Marquinhos in the penultimate pass, Thiago Silva in the decisive pass (3-0, 29th). Brazil touched on the sublime, before driving the point home by Paqueta (4-0, 36th). Dazzled by the show, we almost forget that Alisson has not been idle (17th, 25th, 31st)…
Obviously, the suspense had already flown away at the end of the first act. Especially since Raphinha had the firm intention of adding his name to the list of scorers (46th, 50th, 54th, 61st). The former Rennais, however, did not hesitate to offer a caviar to Richalison, who did not take advantage of it (65th). And South Korea? She suffered at the start of the second period. But Son still gave Alisson the opportunity to shine after eating Marqui raw (47th). Which Alisson still had a firm hand (67th) after an action where Neymar took… a small bridge. He is more used to giving them, he who fell back a notch while Tite strummed on his bench (Alves, Martinelli, Bremer) and went into 4-3-3 after the 4-2-3-1. After missing the last two matches through injury (Switzerland, Cameroon), the Ney has generally done the job, he who is undeniably favored by the fervent Brazilian public. Reassuring for him and the Seleçao, that’s for sure.
South Korea saves honor
What is less so, however, are the defensive wanderings of this team, which is nevertheless reputed to be solid, compact, balanced. The Liverpool goalkeeper had too much work on Monday evening… On this exceptional strike from the so-called Paik Seung-Ho from outside the area, he had to bow (4-1, 76th). The fate of the meeting had been played for a long time, Neymar could go and breathe on the bench (81st), with the feeling of a job (very) well done, omnipresent, active, voluntary and in great shape. MVP of the game. Tite’s men still had the opportunity to increase the score, but we left it at that (4-1 final score). Croatia has been warned: of course, there are flaws behind it. But Brazil, which did not fail to have a big thought for its King, Pelé (see above), is indeed the leader we imagined before the tournament. Good luck to Luka Modric and company, while the planet dreams of a Brazil-Argentina in the semi-finals.