Three goals for Neymar and a masterful display from new Chelsea signing Oscar were the key for Brazil, as they showed no mercy in destroying a demoralised China team 8-0 in Recife.
The midfielder, Hulk, Ramires and Lucas Moura also found the net, while the Asian side’s misfortunes were compounded by Liu Jianye who put the ball past his own keeper in a second half to forget for the visitors.
Stung on Friday by the boos and jeers received as they stuttered to victory over South Africa, Brazil came out determined to make an early impact against a China team hit hard by injuries and other absences. Neymar should have handed his side the lead after just five minutes when he got on the end of Oscar’s cross, but with the goal at his mercy the Santos starlet hit the post.
The first 45 minutes were dominated by the men in yellow, who burst forward at almost every opportunity in the face of questionable defending from Jose Camacho’s charges. Hulk and Lucas both forced saves from Zeng Cheng, before midway through the half the Selecao finally found a way through. Ramires surged brilliantly from deep and, after playing a delightful one-two with Chelsea team-mate Oscar, chipped past Cheng to open the scoring and ease the pressure on the home side.
The advantage was doubled a matter of seconds later. A well-placed low cross from Hulk, given a start in the place of Leandro Damiao after his goal against the Bafana, found Oscar with space in the area. The midfielder squared for Neymar, who could do little else but stroke the ball into the net with little trouble.
From that point onwards, it was merely a case of seeing how many Mano Menezes’ men could add to the tally. Oscar was denied a deserved goal of his own when a strike from point-blank range struck the underside of the bar, before Dede’s header rebounded off the post after the defender had connected with Dani Alves’ deep free kick. The Vasco man thought that he had hit the net minutes later with another headed effort, but this time Liu Jian threw himself between the ball and the goal to save China going three down.
If the visitors were hoping for a respite after the interval, they were to be sorely disappointed. A rampant Brazil added three more to the scoreline in less than 10 minutes after the two teams retook the field. Lucas Moura took advantage of lovely approach play between Hulk and Oscar, storming on the outside to meet the former’s pass and slide the ball past Cheng. Hulk then got his own name deservedly on the score-sheet, finding himself in the right place after Neymar had struck the bar to drive the rebound home with authority.
Neymar was hungry for goals, and netted his second of the evening minutes later in converting Marcelo’s pinpoint low cross. The hat-trick was completed on the hour mark, an almost identical finish this time coming from the right having been fed by the outstanding Oscar.
Even with the game sewn up, Brazil refused to let their foot off the accelerator. Bamboozling play from Lucas forced Liu Jianye to put past his own keeper, before Marcelo was felled in the area for a penalty. Having played a key role in the build-up as well as almost all the Selecao goals, Oscar was handed the ball; making no mistake, the wonderkid drove into the bottom corner to finally get his name on the scoresheet.
Brazil’s next test will only include Neymar, Dede and other stars of the Brasileirao, as the domestic players face off in a two-game series against their Argentine counterparts in the Superclasico de las Americas. China meanwhile were condemned to their worst defeat in history, beating the 5-0 thrashing inflicted by the United States in 1992.