Lille - Neymar
scored a penalty and missed another as Brazil signalled their intent
ahead of next year's World Cup by outclassing Japan 3-1 in Friday's
international friendly in Lille.
The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star
rolled in a 10th-minute spot-kick following consultation with the video
assistant referee, although Neymar saw a second penalty saved shortly
after by Eiji Kawashima.
Marcelo rifled in a magnificent second as
Brazil doubled their lead on 17 minutes, with Manchester City's Gabriel
Jesus rounding off a clinical counter-attack before half-time to make
Tomoaki Makino nodded in a consolation from a corner on 62
minutes but Japan remain winless against Brazil, losing for the 10th
time in 12 meetings.
"I'm really happy with what's happening with
the national team and (coach) Tite, we feel confident with him and
believe in him," said Neymar.
"We're really prepared for our matches and we think we can be better and will continue to grow ahead of the World Cup."
Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic was left to rue his team's disastrous start.
"I don't know what was happening in their heads in the first half," said Halilhodzic.
"The penalty was whistled because of the video and perhaps that threw the team off."
He added: "It's a shame about the first half, the second half gave me quite a bit of satisfaction.
"I see plenty of things we need to improve and we'll draw a lot of things from this match."
was joined by PSG team-mate Thiago Silva in the Brazil line-up as Tite
picked a strong side despite playing in front of a sparsely-filled Stade
Pierre-Mauroy in northern France.
Halilhodzic, who served a
four-year spell as Lille coach over a decade ago, called up 12
Europe-based players for the double-header with Brazil and Belgium, but
experienced attacking trio Shinji Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki and Keisuke
Honda were all overlooked for selection.
were thrashed 4-0 by a Neymar-inspired Brazil in their last encounter
in 2014 and again quickly found themselves under threat from the world's
most expensive player.
He slipped Giuliano through down the
right-hand side after carving open space, with captain Yuto Nagatomo
forced to produce a vital sliding block.
Brazil were soon in front
as referee Benoit Bastien belatedly awarded a penalty after the video
official spotted Maya Yoshida tugging the jersey of Fernandinho at a
Neymar calmly converted for his 53rd international goal -
eight of which have come against Japan - and the 25-year-old should
have added to his tally five minutes later after Jesus was barged over
by Hotaru Yamaguchi.
But this time Kawashima dived low to his
right to deny Neymar, although Brazil surged further ahead from the
resulting corner through a thunderbolt from Marcelo.
Ideguchi's poor clearance trickled invitingly into the path of the Real
Madrid left-back who hammered a right-footed strike into the top corner
from 20 yards.
Yoshida nearly atoned for his early blunder on the
half-hour as he crashed a free-kick against the crossbar, but Japan were
ruthlessly dissected as Brazil further flexed their muscles on 36
Neymar triggered a swift break after a Japanese attack
broke down, with Willian releasing the overlapping Danilo whose driven
low cross was tapped in by Manchester City team-mate Jesus at the far
Brazil substitute goalkeeper Cassio, who replaced Alisson
for the second half, clawed away a fizzing shot from Takuma Asano, while
Neymar was booked for a tangle with Marseille defender Hiroki Sakai
after the incident was reviewed by the VAR.
Japan trimmed the
deficit on 62 minutes when centre-back Makino headed in from a corner
before a raft of substitutes in the final quarter disrupted the flow of