Brazil produced a magnificent first-half performance as they defeated South Korea 4-1 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals today.
The Selecao were heavy favourites heading into the tie, and they took the lead after just seven minutes. Raphinha burst down the right and cut back for Vinicius Junior, who took one touch before placing the ball into the top corner.
Not long afterwards, they doubled their lead. Jung Woo-young was penalised for a foul on Richarlison, and Neymar coolly rolled his penalty into the bottom corner.
South Korea came under intense pressure but almost managed to pull one back. Hwang Hee-chan struck a powerful effort from distance towards the top corner, but Alisson was at his best to turn it over the crossbar.
And Brazil sealed the victory in the 29th minute with one of the goals of the tournament. A beautiful passing move resulted in Thiago Silva slipping one through to Richarlison, who finished for his third of the tournament.
Tite’s men weren’t done there, and they grabbed another moments later. Vinicius got down the left and clipped a cross to Lucas Paqueta, and the West Ham United midfielder volleyed into the bottom corner to make it 4-0.
This was the final goal of the first half, but the deficit could so easily have been larger heading into the break. Paqueta and Richarlison both went through on goal, but were denied by Kim Seung-gyu.
The Taegeuk Warriors sought to restore a bit of personal pride, and almost pulled one back when Alisson turned Heung-min Son’s shot wide for a corner. Down the other end, Kim Seung-gyu was called upon twice to deny Raphinha.
Halfway through the second half, Alisson was required again to make a fine save. Hwang fired a powerful strike towards the bottom corner, but the Liverpool stopper got a strong right hand to it to keep it out.
But the consolation did eventually come for South Korea. The ball fell to substitute Paik Seung-ho outside the box, and he unleashed a stunning shot into the bottom corner from range.
That was the final action of note in the match. Brazil’s victory takes them into the quarter-finals for the eighth World Cup in a row. They will face Croatia in the next round.
Alisson (8/10) – Made three very good saves. Could do nothing about the goal.
Eder Militao (7/10) – Hardly tested. Kept Son relatively quiet.
Marquinhos (7/10) – Didn’t let much past him, although not often called upon.
Thiago Silva (8/10) – Rarely troubled by South Korea’s attack. Produced a perfectly weighted pass for Richarlison’s goal.
Danilo (7/10) – Defended well enough. Not required to do much in attack.
Casemiro (8/10) – Controlled things in the middle of the park. Calm and combative.
Lucas Paqueta (8/10) – Showed his class on the ball with some nice touches and an excellent goal.
Raphinha (8/10) – Created several opportunities down the right. Will have been disappointed not to score.
Neymar (8/10) – Took his penalty well. Involved in much of Brazil’s attacking play.
Vinicius Junior (9/10) *MOTM*– Kicked things off with a brilliant finish. Picked up an assist and was generally unplayable.
Richarlison (8/10) – Linked up well, worked hard, won a penalty, and finished off a fantastic move. A very good game for the striker.
Dani Alves (6/10)
Gabriel Martinelli (6/10)
Kim Seung-gyu (7/10) – Required on several occasions to keep the scoreline down. Looked shaky with the ball at his feet.
Kim Moon-hwan (3/10) – Powerless to stop Vinicius in the first half. Fared better after the break, but by then it was too late.
Kim Min-jae (4/10) – Beaten time and time again. Had no answer for Brazil’s attacking brilliance.
Kim Young-gwon (4/10) couldn’t deal with Brazil’s frontline. A night to forget.
Kim Jin-su (4/10) – Beaten far too easily by Raphinha for the opener. Substituted at half time.
Hwang In-beom (4/10) – Outclassed by Casemiro and Paqueta. Unable to get any control over the ball.
Jung Woo-young (3/10) – Carelessly conceded a penalty and got completely overran in midfield. Substituted at half time.
Hwang Hee-chan (7/10) – The only player for South Korea who looked like doing anything in attack. Denied two goals by brilliant Alisson saves.
Lee Jae-sung (4/10) – Offered very little in attack, and didn’t contribute defensively.
Son Heung-min (5/10) – Had one chance early in the second half which was well saved. Didn’t do much otherwise.
Cho Gue-sung (5/10) – Often found himself isolated up front. Struggled to make an impact.
Hong Chul (5/10)
Son Jun-ho (5/10)
Paik Seung-ho (7/10)
Lee Kang-in (5/10)
Hwang Ui-jo (5/10)
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