World Cup 2014: Neymar masterclass fires up Brazil


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The Independent Football

Neymar gave Brazil fans an appetiser for what they can expect in the forthcoming World Cup when he scored one goal and set up two others in a 4-0 win over Panama.

The Barcelona striker's masterclass enabled a strong Brazil side, missing only Tottenham's Paulinho from their most likely starting XI, to stroll to victory over mediocre opposition in a friendly in Goiania.

After a quiet start, Luiz Felipe Scolari's side took the lead in the 27th minute, Neymar curling home a free-kick from a central position after he had been brought down just outside the penalty area.

It was two five minutes before half-time, Dani Alves' angled 20-yard drive creeping in at the far post beyond goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane's rather late dive.

Brazil's third arrived just after half-time, Neymar sending Hulk in on goal with an exquisite backheel through a rather slow and square Panama defence and the Zenit St Petersburg striker finished emphatically into the bottom corner.

The pick of Brazil's goal was the fourth with 17 minutes to go when a delightful run and pass from Neymar played in Maxwell down the left. His shot was blocked but the ball fell to Willian, who fired home.