Football: Neymar stars with four goals as Brazil beat Japan 4-0

Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring against Japan during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring against Japan during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Brazil's Neymar gestures as he celebrates after scoring his hat-trick against Japan during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Brazil's Neymar gestures as he celebrates after scoring his hat-trick against Japan during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Brazil's forward Neymar heads the ball for his fourth goal against Japan in a friendly football match at the National stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Brazil's forward Neymar heads the ball for his fourth goal against Japan in a friendly football match at the National stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Brazil's forward Neymar (left) passes the ball to teammate Robinho (2nd left) in a friendly football match against Japan at the National stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Brazil's forward Neymar (left) passes the ball to teammate Robinho (2nd left) in a friendly football match against Japan at the National stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Brazil's forward Neymar (middle in yellow) leads the team onto the pitch before a friendly football match against Japan at the National stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Brazil's forward Neymar (middle in yellow) leads the team onto the pitch before a friendly football match against Japan at the National stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after his fourth goal against Japan during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after his fourth goal against Japan during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore on Oct 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Neymar scored four goals as the Barcelona forward starred in Brazil's 4-0 rout of Japan in their international football friendly at the Singapore Sports Hub on Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old was the best player by a mile, as he tormented the Japanese defence throughout the match and thoroughly deserved his goal harvest.

Watched by a packed 51,577-strong crowd at the National Stadium, the five-time World Cup winners tore apart Japan as they set up Neymar to score in the 18th, 48th, 77th and 81st minutes. It is the first time the 22-year-old had scored four times in a game for the Selecao.

The pitch, which was criticised by both teams before the match, was still sandy at kick-off. The ball bobbed around the pitch, while players kicked up ball and sand at times.

Outside the stadium, fans also reported long queues and traffic jams and inside, the media was left frustrated with intermittent wireless Internet access.

Neymar netted the first in the 18th minute when he latched on to a through ball, calmly rounded Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and fired into the roof of the net.

Three minutes after the break, he destroyed the Samurai Blue's offside trap when he timed his run to perfection, collected Oscar's pass and slotted home for his second.

In the 77th minute, Kawashima spilled Philippe Coutinho's stinging shot and the Barcelona striker swooped to tap in with his left foot and with nine minutes to go, he went airborne to nod in Kaka's cross from the left.

And as the fans flowed out of Kallang, the abiding feeling is that yes, the pitch is sandy and causes the ball to bobble. But the magic of Brazil's No. 10 made football look so easy.


Recap highlights of the match here:

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