Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar weathered some harsh attention before scoring a stunning free-kick as he led the FIFA World Cup™ hosts to a 2-0 friendly win over Korea Republic on Saturday. The Barcelona forward curled his shot past Korean goalie Jung Sungryong just before half-time, with Chelsea's Oscar getting the visitors' second shortly after the break.
Neymar, 21, had been in doubt for the game after a heavy fall in training, and he was targeted with some tough challenges and constant attention in front of a near-capacity crowd. But the young idol had the last laugh at Seoul World Cup Stadium when he thumped his strike over the wall and to the right of Jung, who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
Neymar was targeted from start to finish as Hong Myungbo's team, who have already qualified for next year's World Cup, opted to give him some close attention. The Brazilian threw up his hands in exasperation and even got into a shoving match near the teams' benches late in the first half.
After a tepid start to the game, Neymar had taken the ball in midfield and danced through defenders before threading a pass to Oscar, whose shot travelled over the bar. But after being brought down himself, Neymar took matters into his own hands as he opened the scoring with his free kick.
London link sets up second
Brazil doubled their just three minutes into the second half. Paulinho put Oscar through and the midfielder went past the helpless Jung before putting it into the gaping net.
Korea Republic brought on Son Heungmin in the 65th minute, hoping the Bayer Leverkusen winger could add some spark to the lethargic attack. And the home side were more lively in the last half-hour, with Lee Chungyong heading a corner wide in the 68th minute.
It was as close as Korea Republic came to score in the match, as the five-time World Cup champions outclassed the hosts.