World Cup favourites Brazil booked their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup after they 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 will face Croatia in the quarter-final on December 9 at Education City Stadium.
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.
Brazil World Cup 2022 squad
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton
Defenders: Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Dani Alves, Danilo, Bremer, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva
Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes, Casemiro, Everton Ribeiro, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paqueta
Forwards: Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar Jr., Pedro, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.
Head coach Tite has outlined an attacking approach for his side for the tournament, too.
“There will be opportunities for all [Brazil’s forwards],” Tite said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Whoever is in will be deciding the match, all have to be prepared. Every match might require a different characteristic.”
What is the latest on Neymar's injury?
Brazil shrugged off the loss of Neymar to injury by beating Switzerland to book their place in the last-16 in Qatar. Brazil's star forward was ruled out of at least the World Cup group stage after tests on the sprained ankle he suffered against Serbia.
There is still no categorical answer on whether Neymar can inject his much-needed brand of mojo in time for their last-16 match against South Korea.
But Dr Rodrigo Lasmar did his best to sound an optimistic note after the defeat to Cameroon: "We still have 72 hours before the next game, we will count on the time in our favor, we still have the chance, and we will wait to understand how this transition will happen," he said.
Neymar and Alex Sandro were set to be welcomed back at training on Saturday to "practise with the ball," he added. Afterwards, Neymar quoted James Brown in an optimistic tweet which read: "I feel good, I knew that I would now".
What are Brazil’s results and fixtures?
Brazil will play Croatia in the World Cup quarter-final on Friday, December 9 at 3pm GMT.
November 24: Brazil 2 Serbia 0
November 28: Brazil 1 Switzerland 0
December 2: Cameroon 1 Brazil 0
December 5: Brazil 4 South Korea 1
What is Brazil’s World Cup record?
Brazil are the most successful team in the tournament’s history. They’ve won the World Cup a record five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002) and have played in all 21 editions of the tournament so far.
At Russia 2018, Brazil were tournament favourites but crashed out at the quarter-final stage following a 2-1 defeat to Belgium.
Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales
Brazil are currently a best price of 5/2 and favourites to win the World Cup.