Neymar doubles up from the spot as Brazil thump South Korea

Neymar scored twice to give Brazil the win over South Korea in a friendly.
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Neymar scored a pair of penalties to move to within four goals of Pele at the top of the men's all-time scoring list as Brazil cruised to a 5-1 win over fellow World Cup qualifiers South Korea at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Thursday.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker netted either side of half-time to move onto 73 goals in 118 appearances for his country and close in on the three-time World Cup winner's record in a comfortable win for Tite's side.

Richarlison gave Brazil the lead in the seventh minute and, although Hwang Ui-Jo levelled for Korea just after the half-hour mark, it was the visitors who always looked more likely to prevail.

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Neymar netted from the spot to put his side back in front three minutes before half-time and he was on hand with another penalty in the 57th minute before late goals from Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus put the seal on a comprehensive win.

"I didn't expect this reception," Neymar said after the game. "There was a lot of love shown by the fans here, from [South] Korea, from all over the country. It was phenomenal. It [affection] was not just for me, but for our entire team.

"Congratulations to South Korea too, they played a good game and made it difficult for us."

Billed in some quarters as a battle between Neymar and South Korea's Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min, it was the Brazilian and his teammates who dominated in an often one-sided contest.

"It was an honour to be able to learn from such a world class team," Son said after the game. "It was an extremely difficult match for us, but it was also an opportunity to learn a great deal.

"They are the kind of players that can exploit even small mistakes, and we have to improve in that aspect. Most of the five goals they scored were the results of our miscues. On the other hand, I think it was encouraging for us to create scoring chances against such a powerful team."

The South Americans took the lead early when Alex Sandro stormed into the penalty area and cut back to Fred, whose attempt was redirected past Kim Seung-Gyu by Richarlison from close range.

Brazil had already seen Thiago Silva's header ruled out for offside while Raphinha and Dani Alves also went close before the Koreans scored against the run of play in the 31st minute.

Receiving possession with his back to goal, Hwang used all his upperbody strength to hold off Silva before turning to fire his right foot shot into the far corner.

Brazil, though, were back in front in the 42nd minute when referee Ryuji Sato awarded a penalty following a VAR review as Lee Yong upended Sandro and Neymar coolly slotted in.

He was even more composed when he rolled his second spot-kick of the game home three minutes before the hour mark after Sandro was again brought down in the box, this time by Kim Young-Gwon.

Coutinho added the fourth with 10 minutes remaining and Jesus scored a fifth three minutes into added time when he sprinted through the Korea defence to score low into the corner.

South Korea will play Chile, Paraguay and Egypt this month as they prepare for their 10th successive appearance at the World Cup finals in Qatar later this year.

"It probably wasn't the result our fans wanted, and we're disappointed as well," Son said. "We understand we have a long way to go. But we will do our best until the World Cup and give our fans something to smile about."