Brazil vs. Zambia Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Oscar and Dede scored the goals as Brazil comfortably saw off the challenge of Zambia at the Beijing National Stadium in China in a 2-0 victory.
Chelsea midfielder Oscar gave the South Americans a 59th-minute lead when his deflected shot looped over Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Seven minutes later, a Neymar free-kick found defender Dede inside the area, and he headed home his first international goal.
It was a solid performance from Luiz Felipe Scolari's team against the Africans, but the Brazilians will need greater challenges as they head toward the 2014 World Cup finals as the host nation.
Neymar went very close in just the third minute when his free-kick from outside the area forced a great save against the crossbar from Mweene.
Dani Alves then drove over after a great Brazil passing move set up the Barcelona defender inside the box.
In the 15th minute, Ramires played an excellent one-two with Neymar to create a great opportunity, but the Chelsea midfielder's finish was off-target.
The quick feet of Neymar took the Barcelona man into the area, but his fine ball to Alexandre Pato was missed by the Brazilian forward and the chance was lost.
Pato then set up an opportunity for Lucas Moura with a neat headed knockdown from an Alves cross, but the shot was well wide of goal.
Brazil were comfortably ahead on points before the half-time break, but there also seemed to be a lack of urgency in Scolari's team, which ensured the score remained goalless.
Mweene needed to be at his best to push away a Neymar strike after the Barca star danced through the Zambia defence into the area.
In the 53rd minute, the darker side of Neymar emerged when he fell to the floor after appearing to trip himself up to earn a free-kick. Zambia were left enraged by his actions, but the resulting free-kick by David Luiz was saved well.
Four minutes later, though, the glittering skills of Neymar almost came to fruition when a stunning pass to Alves almost saw the defender open the scoring.
In the 59th minute, Brazil finally got their breakthrough, although luck played a large part. After a move between Hulk and Neymar broke down at a corner, Zambia could not clear and the ball fell for Oscar, whose shot from outside the area took a deflection and looped over Mweene.
Misfortune again befell Zambia for the second goal when a free-kick was harshly awarded against the Africans after Neymar had again down easily near the by-line.
Neymar took the set piece himself and defender Dede was on hand inside the area to head home for the Brazilians.
Oscar should have added a second with 10 minutes remaining, but his delicate curling shot from the edge of the area was smothered easily by Mweene.
Good play by Hulk opened up space for the forward from 20 yards, but his effort flew just wide.
Neymar was replaced by Bernard and the substitute produced some trickery before the laying the ball off to Maxwell, whose shot flew wide of Mweene's goal.
Zambia appeared to have followed the South Korea template for dealing with the mercurial Brazil star, producing some questionable challenges.
But Neymar still proved to be the most effective Brazilian threat on show in China, and his early free-kick, which struck the crossbar was merely an indication of what was to come.
Zambia had little answer for the quick feet of the Barcelona man, but Neymar is still undoing his terrific skills with the less savoury ability to fall down easily under a challenge.
David Luiz A-
With Zambia relatively neutered in attacking threat, Luiz enjoyed a relatively quiet evening in the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing.
The Chelsea defender offered the occasional attacking foray and went close in the first half, but it was a comfortable evening for Luiz despite the odd clattering challenge from Zambian forwards.
Left the field to be replaced by Henrique, but a sensible outing for the Chelsea man after an excellent display against South Korea on Saturday.
Missed an early opportunity for Brazil when he sent the ball wide when one-on-one with the Zambia goalkeeper.
The Chelsea midfielder was an energetic presence for Scolari's team before being switched for Stamford Bridge teammate Oscar at the interval as the manager rotated his team.
A question mark must still remain over his creativity at times, but a lack of ambition from the opposition negated a significant need for that.
Emmanuel Mayuka C
The Southampton forward showed flashes of pace and appeared to be Zambia's greatest threat.
But Mayuka, who is currently on loan at Sochaux, rarely troubled Dani Alves on the left flank during his time on the pitch.
Man of the Match
Dani Alves (Brazil)
The Barcelona defender produced a lively display in an otherwise perfunctory Brazil display.
Negated the threat of Mayuka on the left wing with little difficulty and also offered a significant attacking presence of his own for the South Americans.
Alves should have gotten himself on the scoresheet but lost the ball under his feet after a stunning pass from Neymar.
Zambia coach Patrice Beaumelle insisted his team were simply delighted to have the chance to learn from Brazil, as Global Times reported.
It is a pride for my team, we were the under (side), we were here to learn
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