Neymar closes in on Pele's record with brace vs South Korea, Brazil win 5-1
- Neymar scored two goals from the spot against South Korea
- He now has 73 goals for Brazil
- Brazil stars Richarlison, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus were also on the scoresheet on Thursday
Neymar is four goals shy of equalling legendary Pele's 77-goal record for Brazil. The 30-year-old scored two penalties against South Korea to take Brazil to a 5-1 win in the capital city's Seoul World Cup Stadium on Thursday.
Brazil stars Richarlison, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus were also on the scoresheet.
The scoring started in the seventh minute. Richarlison diverted a low shot from Fred high into the South Korean net from close range. The home-team's Hwang Hee-chan found Hwang Ui-jo in the area and the Bordeaux striker turned Thiago Silva to fire a shot past the diving Weverton. The score was 1-1 in the 31st minute.
With three minutes left for half-time, Brazil's Alex Sandro was fouled inside the South Korean goal box. Neymar took a shot from the spot and sent Kim Seung-gyu the wrong way to get his first of the day.
The 30-year-old scored his second from the spot after Sandro was again brought down in the area and a penalty was given. Neymar waited for the keeper to commit before calmly stroking the ball home for his 73rd goal for Brazil. By the 57th minute, the visitors were 3-1 up in the game.
Coutinho, a replacement for Neymar, scored the fourth and Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus the fifth.
South Korean star, Premier League golden boot winner, Son Heung-min was kept quiet all through the 90 minutes.
“We made too many defensive mistakes against a strong team and we need to improve,” South Korea coach Paulo Bento said. “The penalties could have been avoided but, while we made mistakes, the players kept going until the end and created opportunities and that is something to take forward.”
Neymar was delighted with the applause from South Korean fans when he left the field after 78 minutes.
“It was phenomenal," Neymar said. "I didn’t expect this reception.”