Neymar inspires Brazil victory
Neymar masterminded an easy 4-0 win for World Cup hosts Brazil over Panama at the Estadio Serra Dourada on Tuesday.
The Brazilian poster boy lived up to his top billing with a dazzling display that saw him convert a trademark free-kick, put it on a plate for Hulk to score and play a key role in almost every dangerous foray forward by the hosts.
Neymar opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, curling an exquisite free-kick past Panama goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane after he himself was brought down on the edge of the box.
The 22-year-old Barcelona star almost set up a second minutes later, skipping past Felipe Baloy to the byline, but his cross was just too high for Fred.
Dani Alves got the second goal Brazil thoroughly deserved with a fine solo strike from outside the box into the far corner that gave McFarlane no chance.
Neymar continued to run the show after the interval and it was his excellent back heel into the box that put Hulk through.
The Zenit Saint Petersburg forward latched onto it and produced a silky first-touch finish with the outside of his boot to make it 3-0.
Another marauding run by Neymar caused problems for Panama late on, with the ball eventually breaking for Chelsea midfielder Willian to lash home from just inside the penalty area.
Far sterner tests await for Brazil, but their performance shows that they are in fine form and Neymar is ready to shine.
Meanwhile, late goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner and substitute Xherdan Shaqiri gave Switzerland a 2-0 win over Peru.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's side signed off their World Cup preparations with a victory ahead of their opening Group E clash with Ecuador on June 15, but they only sealed it in the last 15 minutes.
Lichtsteiner powered a header from a corner in the 78th minute past Peru keeper George Forsyth, before Shaqiri converted a low effort from the edge of the box six minutes later.