It took less than three minutes for the Confederations Cup to spring to life.
Neymar, with his 21st goal in a Brazil shirt, moved into a tie with the legendary Leonidas and claimed a share of 20th place on the country’s all-time goalscoring ledger when he smashed home a shot following Fred’s chested layoff.
The newly unveiled Barcelona man put in an energetic, if not inconsistent, performance against Japan in Brasilia, and he had a hand in Paulinho’s goal just after the restart as well.
One of the few home-based players to see the pitch at Estadio Nacional, Paulinho surely gave manager Luiz Felipe Scolari something to think about ahead of Brazil’s next match against Mexico on Wednesday. Atletico Mineiro striker Jo—who rounded out the scoring in the third minute of second-half stoppage time—may have played his way into a starting slot as well.
Oscar, Hulk and Lucas Moura were also impressive for Brazil. On the other side of the ball, Japan saw encouraging performances from Keisuke Honda, Yasuyuki Konno and Atsuto Uchida, while Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki mostly disappointed.
All in all, there were takeaways for both managers at the final whistle, and in the next few slides, we’ll look at six of them.