Neymar scores 2 penalties in Brazil's 5-1 win over Son's South Korea
SEOUL (AP) — A pair of Neymar penalties helped Brazil start its World Cup preparations with a comprehensive 5-1 win over South Korea in an international friendly on Thursday.
English Premier League stars Richarlison, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus were also on the scoresheet.
It was a chastening evening for the South Koreans, with the five-time world champion too strong in all areas of the field.
Richarlison silenced the 66,000 fans who filled Seoul World Cup Stadium to capacity after just seven minutes with an opportunistic strike. The Everton forward diverted a low shot from Fred high into the South Korean net from close range.
South Korea will make a 10th successive World Cup appearance at Qatar later this year in a group with Uruguay, Portugal and Ghana.
It struggled to get joint-EPL Golden Boot winner Heung-Min Son into the game but was back on level terms on the half-hour with a well-worked goal. Wolverhampton attacker Hee-Chan Hwang found Ui-Jo Hwang in the area, and the Bordeaux striker turned Thiago Silva to fire a shot past the diving Weverton.
Brazil was back ahead three minutes before the break after a penalty was given following a foul on Alex Sandro. Neymar sent Seung-Gyu Kim the wrong way to roll the ball into the net.
The pattern was repeated just before the hour. The lively Juventus wingback was again brought down in the area and Neymar again waited for the goalkeeper to commit himself before calmly stroking the ball home for his 73rd goal for Brazil, just four fewer than leading goalscorer Pele.
With 10 minutes remaining, Coutinho, a replacement for the substituted Neymar, added a fourth by smashing a loose ball into the top corner. In the final seconds, another substitute, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, completed a perfect evening for the South Americans after running through the backline.
Brazil, which will take on Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon at the World Cup, continues its preparations by facing Japan on Monday as South Korea hosts Chile.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
- Haaland criticizes referee on social media after Man City draw with Spurs
- Thoughts and analysis from goal-heavy weekend of Premier League action
- Guardiola refuses to rant about refs: 'I will not do a Mikel Arteta'
- Crazy finish to Man City-Spurs thriller caps 24-goal bonanza in EPL on Sunday
- Fernandez's brace powers 10-man Chelsea to much-needed win over Brighton