Brazil have turned in the best first half performance of the World Cup so far after plundering four goals against a hapless South Korea, but one football great took exception to their celebrations. The South American juggernauts sent a warning to the rest of the teams in Qatar after heading into the match after a surprise loss to Cameroon in the final group G match.
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Brazil needed a strong performance to stamp their credentials in Qatar. And they wasted no time in the knockout stages to show why they are favourites when Real Madrid flyer Vinicius Jr. cooly finished a Raphinia pass in the 7th minute.
The attacking quartet of Brazil danced in celebration and it was not to be the last time for the night. Neymar converted from the penalty spot to open his account at the World Cup having returned from injury after a serious ankle knock in the opening game. Richarlison then got in on the act and may have topped his effort in the first match for goal of the World Cup.
The forward picked the ball up at the top of the box and controlled it with his head a number of times. He then played the ball forward and continued as Brazil played a 1-2-3 back to Richarlison. The Tottenham forward swept the ball pass the keeper to all but cement the victory.
Richarlison took off to the dugout and celebrated with another dance, which coach Tite getting involved. To round off the scoring in the first half, Lucas Pacqueta hit a first time volley from a sumptuous Vinicius pass. Brazil became just the second team to score four or more goals in the first half of a knockout stage match in World Cup history. The only other team to achieve this feat was Germany against Brazil in their famous 7-1 win.
The football world was quick to praise the Brazil performance - referred to as Joga Bonito - as they joyously danced their way to victory.
However, Brazil's dancing after the first goal certainly caused a stir. Dancing and celebrating a goal is embedded in Brazil's culture and has become synonymous with the national team. Football great Roy Keane was one to label the dancing 'disrespectful', while acknowledging it is part of their culture.
Roy Keane stinking up the place, what’s wrong with Brazil dancing??? 🤔🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZsBhbtTh3F
— SP 🇸🇱 (@septimusajprime) December 5, 2022
“It’s obviously brilliant from Brazil, but South Korea, my goodness. I’ve never seen so much dancing, it’s like watching Strictly!” Keane said on ITV. “I think it is really disrespecting the opposition. It's 4-0 and they're doing it every time. I don’t mind the first jig, but then the manager got involved with it! I'm not happy with it, I don't think it's good at all.”
However, SBS analyst Craig Foster blasted any notion that Brazil were being disrespectful.
"Thank heavens for Brazil in football. When they turn it on, it's a very rare sight and it's part of the beautiful game....You need to see it," Foster said of the dancing. "It's part of their culture. It's beautiful. I see people on social media that aren't happy with the dancing...it's utter rubbish. This is Brazil, we want to see it."
Many on social media were quick to praise the dancing, which brought joy to the game.
Even Brazil coach Tite got involved on the dancing 😂 pic.twitter.com/ZeRwKQLl2c
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 5, 2022
Ohhhhh bore off Roy Keane, complaining about Brazil dancing, Senegal chanting. Lighten up you stiff boring man.
— Chunkz (@Chunkz) December 5, 2022
Someone clip Tite dancing with Richarlison, this country is pure good vibes 😭
— Mod (@CFCMod_) December 5, 2022
Brazil is just having fun
— GPII (@Garydwayne) December 5, 2022
Are Brazil shooting a new Nike advert?
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) December 5, 2022
Brazil play football with so much flair 😭 it’s such a beauty to watch.
— TG OMORI (@boy_director) December 5, 2022
Roy Keane hated Brazil celebrating their goals by dancing. What an absolute miserable git he is! pic.twitter.com/2fBk5gP1GF
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) December 5, 2022
This is what Brazil are supposed to be. A bit silly. Fun. Almost a cliche.
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) December 5, 2022
After the match, Graeme Souness was critical of South Korea's performance.
"If you had said to Brazil, how do you want Korea to play tonight? It would have been exactly like that,” he added.
“Brazil have been fabulous but Korea have been a shambles. It could be seven or eight."
Brazil to face Croatia in quarter-final
Brazil have now set up a quarter-final clash with last World Cup finalist's Croatia. The Europeans broke Japan hearts in the early hours of Monday morning. After a 1-1 result in regulation and extra-time, the gamewas decided on penalties.
Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic was the hero for Croatia, saving three of Japan's penalties. Livakovic firstly dived to his left to save Takumi Minamino's weak kick, before moving to his right to keep out another poor attempt from Kaoru Mitoma.
Nikola Vlasic and Marcelo Brozovic scored their penalties for Croatia, heaping a mountain of pressure on Takuma Asano. The Japanese player managed to keep his side's hopes alive and when Marko Livaja hit the post it was 2-1 after three kicks each.
Livakovic then went right, and chose right again, to deny veteran defender Maya Yoshida with Japan's fourth attempt. Mario Pasalic then sealed Croatia's place in the quarter-finals after converting for his side.
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