SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Neymar scored all four goals in a sumptuous display for Brazil as the five-time world champions routed an under-strength Japan 4-0 in a friendly in Singapore on Tuesday to maintain Dunga’s perfect start since returning as coach.
The Brazilian skipper took his impressive tally to 40 goals in 58 matches after his strikes against a shabby Japanese side on a patchy National Stadium pitch deemed “far short of international standards” by Singapore’s Football Association.
Neymar had no problems with the poor surface, however, as the Barcelona striker entertained the 51,577 crowd with flicks and tricks around his cool finishes.
He rattled the post with a free-kick a minute before opening the scoring in the 18th minute when he rounded Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and lashed the ball into an empty net after being put clear by Diego Tardelli.
The goal allowed Brazil, who had been lethargic after the heavy travel schedule and Saturday’s 2-0 win over Argentina in Beijing, to slow the tempo against the Asian champions, who were missing the injured Shinji Kagawa and opted to start with Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo on the bench.
Honda came on at the start of the second period but it was the Brazilian bench who had a greater impact, with Philippe Coutinho slipping a ball through Japan’s porous backline to Neymar, who slotted home a second in the 48th minute.
The hard-working Shinji Okazaki almost pulled one back with a right foot snap shot from a narrow angle that cannoned back off the post but it was a brief highlight for the otherwise isolated striker.
Dunga, in his second spell in charge after Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned in July after the World Cup, brought on the ageing Robinho and Kaka to get among the scoring fun.