Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
A fantastic first-half display saw Brazil to a comfortable 3-1 win over Japan in Friday’s friendly at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France.
Neymar netted the opener after 10 minutes from the penalty spot, and Marcelo doubled Brazil’s lead with a stunning strike seven minutes later.
Gabriel Jesus made it 3-0 from close range before the break and, although Tomoaki Makino pulled one back for a much-improved Japan after half-time, Tite’s side ran out easy winners.
Brazilian football writer Paulo Freitas provided both lineups ahead of kick-off:
Paulo Freitas @Cynegeticus
Brazil and Japan line-ups confirmed now, the game starts in about 40 mins. https://t.co/rd1CIYtGOi
The Selecao looked sharp from the off, with Neymar setting up Giuliano for an effort on goal in the third minute before Jesus was played in after an excellent move soon after.
In the eighth minute the referee then awarded a penalty having consulted the VAR system to see Maya Yoshida hauling Fernandinho to the ground as they awaited a corner.
Neymar put the ball on the spot, stuttered in his run-up and tucked it in the corner to the goalkeeper’s left to net his 53rd international goal, per football writer Jack Lang:
Jack Lang @jacklang
Eight of Neymar’s 53 Brazil goals have come against Japan
Barely five minutes later Neymar was lining up from the penalty spot again after Hotaru Yamaguchi felled Jesus in the box, but this time he went to Eiji Kawashima’s right and the stopper got down well to palm the effort wide.
The resulting corner was half-cleared to the edge of the box but only to the onrushing Marcelo, who drove a fierce right-footed finish high into the net to make it 2-0.
Nine minutes from the break Jesus then got his goal, turning home from three yards at the far post after a fine Danilo delivery across the box.
Japan’s best chance of the half came from Yoshida’s free-kick just after the half hour. The Southampton man’s curling effort beat goalkeeper Alisson but hit the upright.
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/Getty Images
The game was all but done after 45 minutes but Japan enjoyed a much better spell of action after the break and pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute.
Brazil’s defensive frailties were exposed as Makino ghosted unmarked to the edge of the six-yard box and headed Yosuke Ideguchi’s corner into the back of the net.
Japan nearly set up a grandstand finish when Takashi Inui’s free-kick ended up in the back of the net three minutes from time, but the goal was ruled out for offside.