Vinicius Junior and Neymar impressed as Brazil ruthlessly beat South Korea 4-1 to set up a 2022 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Final against Croatia.
Vincius Junior fired Brazil ahead after just seven minutes before Neymar converted from the penalty spot five minutes later, after Richarlison had been fouled inside the box.
Richarlison’s 29th minute one-touch strike and Lucas Paqueta’s volley seven minutes later further put Brazil in firm control by half-time, despite failing to add more goals in the second-half.
Paik Seung-ho struck a 77th minute consolatory strike from 30 yards as South Korea bowed out at the Round of 16 stage for the second time in the last four World Cup tournaments.
Brazil will now face Croatia at Education City Stadium in the Quarter-Finals at 6pm AST local time on Friday 9 December, after Zlatko Dalic’s Croatians beat Japan on penalties in their Round of 16 tie.
Having recalled several regulars following their defeat to Cameroon in their final group match, Brazil quickly established control of this match with a high tempo despite South Korea trying to take the fight to them in the opening six minutes.
Brazil’s fast start however was quickly rewarded in the seventh minute as Casemiro pulled back from the right via Richarlison’s flicked pass, which found Vinicius Junior to calmly fire in unmarked from just inside of the box.
Any fears of a South Korean comeback which Portugal fell foul of in their final Group H match were swiftly crushed, as Richarlison was clipped to ground by Jung Woo-young in the 11th minute and Neymar converted the penalty a minute later to stretch Brazil’s lead.
Hwang Hee-Chan saw two shots denied by Alisson as he led any faint hopes of a South Korean recovery, which were ultimately finished in the 29th minute as Richarlison played an one-touch move via Casemiro and Thiago Silva as he grooved his way into space to finish from close-range.
Lucas Paqueta added further misery for the Tigers of Asia as he volleyed in from Vinicius Junior’s 36th minute cross to definitely guarantee Brazil’s place in the Quarter-Finals before half-time.
After the break, Brazil proceeded to control the game rather comfortably as Raphinha produced several chances, only for Kim Seung-gyu to repeatedly deny him his first goal of the tournament.
South Korea meanwhile bowed out with their heads held high after Paik Seung-ho scored a 30-yard strike to snatch a consolatory goal, which came from a poorly cleared free-kick into the box.
Brazil will now face Croatia at Education City Stadium in the opening Quarter-Final on Friday 9 December, as the title favourites collide with a team who haven’t been eliminated before the semi-finals whenever they got out of the Group Stage at a World Cup.
Brazil: Alisson (Weverton 80′), Eder Militao (Alves 63′), Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo (Bremer 72′), Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta, Raphinha, Neymar (Rodrygo 81′), Vinicus Junior (Martinelli 72′), Richarlison
Substitutes: Fred, Weverton, Dani Alves, Fabinho, Bruno Guimaraes, Antony, Rodrygo, Everton Ribeiro, Ederson, Bremer, Pedro, Gabriel Martinelli
South Korea: Kim Seung-gyu, Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Jin-su (Hong Chul 45′), Hwang, In-beom (Paik Seung-ho 65′), Jung Woo-young (Son Jun-ho 45′), Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-sung (Lee Kang-in 74′), Son Heung-min, Cho Gue-sung (Hwang Ui-jo 80′)
Substitutes: Yoon Jong-gyu, Paik Seung-ho, Song Bum-keun, Son Jun-ho, Hong Chul, Hwang Ui-jo, Na Sang-ho, Lee Kang-in, Kwon Kyung-Won, Cho Hyun-woo, Kwon Chang-hoon, Kim Tae-hwan, Cho Yu-min, Jeong Woo-yeong, Song Min-kyu
Referee: Clement Turpin (France)