DOHA, Qatar — Even the coach was dancing.
Wearing a dark suit as he stalked the grass in front of Brazil’s bench, Tite allowed himself to be engulfed by his players as they cavorted in celebration around him, joining them eventually with a wiggle of his shoulders and hips. There have been still greater than quarter-hour left in the primary half.
That’s how carefree a game it was for Brazil, how much joy it took in dismantling an outmatched South Korea squad within the round of 16 on a balmy Monday night in Doha. The Brazilians repeated the identical pattern all night — coldblooded goal, pleased dance — until the ultimate whistle blew to finish their fun. The lopsided rating, 4-1, one way or the other didn’t fully capture the team’s dominance.
Brazil’s display, even with South Korea providing only mild resistance to the outburst of collective skill, surely cemented its status as one among the favorites to lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy on Dec. 18. Brazil plays next on Friday against Croatia within the quarterfinal round, and it should be favored to win that game, too.
The goal that got Tite, 61, doing his jig was the team’s third, which materialized from the foot of his striker, Richarlison, in one among the best displays of individual wizardry within the tournament so far.
Tussling with a South Korean defender just outside the penalty area, Richarlison bounced the ball thrice off his head in a classy effort to maintain possession. Finally, he brought the ball down, shimmied right into a little bit of open space, and knocked it over to a teammate. The ball was already on its way back to him as he sprinted toward the goal, and all he needed to do was slide it past Kim Seung-gyu, South Korea’s goalkeeper.
“I’m very pleased with our coach,” Richarlison said of his sideline dance through an interpreter. “We rehearsed the celebration together on the hotel. And I used to be really pleased we had the prospect to do it with him.”
A Temporary Guide to the 2022 World Cup
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What’s the World Cup? The quadrennial event pits the most effective national soccer teams against one another for the title of world champion. Here’s a primer to the 2022 men’s tournament:
Where is it being held? This 12 months’s host is Qatar, which in 2010 beat the USA and Japan to win the best to carry the tournament. Whether that was an honest competition stays in dispute.
When is it? The tournament opened on Nov. 20, when Qatar played Ecuador. Over the 2 weeks that follow, 4 games will probably be played on most days. The tournament ends with the ultimate on Dec. 18.
Is a winter World Cup normal? No. The World Cup normally takes place in July. But in 2015, FIFA concluded that the summer temperatures in Qatar might need unpleasant consequences and agreed to maneuver the tournament to the relatively bearable months of November and December.
What number of teams are competing? Thirty-two. Qatar qualified mechanically because the host, and after years of matches, the opposite 31 teams earned the best to return and play. Meet the teams here.
How does the tournament work? The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of 4. Within the opening stage, each team plays all the opposite teams in its group once. The highest two finishers in each group advance to the round of 16. After that, the World Cup is a straight knockout tournament.
How can I watch the World Cup within the U.S.? The tournament will probably be broadcast on Fox and FS1 in English, and on Telemundo in Spanish. You possibly can livestream it on Peacock, or on streaming services that carry Fox and FS1. Here’s the right way to watch every match.
When will the games happen? Qatar is three hours ahead of London, eight hours ahead of Recent York and 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles. Meaning there will probably be predawn kickoffs on the East Coast of the USA for some games, and midafternoon starts for 10 p.m. games in Qatar.
Got more questions? We’ve got more answers here.
It was the third goal of the tournament for Richarlison, who has used the massive stage to announce himself as some of the exciting attacking players on the earth.
But it surely was not only Richarlison and Tite joyfully shuffling their feet on Monday. The Brazilians were dancing all night.
There was Vinícius Júnior, leading three of his teammates in a coordinated jig near the left corner flag, after scoring Brazil’s first goal within the seventh minute.
There was Neymar, taking a central role in an impromptu mosh pit after scoring the team’s second on a penalty within the thirteenth.
There was Lucas Paquetá, tap dancing furiously by himself in the best corner, tearing up the grass with a sober look on his face, after slotting home the fourth within the thirty sixth.
It was, in all, a powerful return to form for the Brazilians, who lost their final group-stage match against Cameroon last week while rotating much of their roster.
The one individuals who weren’t smiling on Monday, then, were the South Koreans. The sport for them should have been a harsh awakening so soon after the euphoria of their final group-stage game, when a surprising injury-time goal catapulted them into the knockout round.
Against Brazil, they looked decidedly average. Their one goal was spectacular, drilled by Paik Seung-ho from well outside the penalty area within the 76th minute. But they struggled otherwise to realize any form of a foothold against Brazil’s relentless quality.
Their only other consolation — if it could possibly be called that — was that they forced the Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson to make his first save of your complete tournament. He made a complete of 5 before being subbed out late within the second half.
“I feel it has led to a very reasonable manner,” said Paulo Bento, the coach of South Korea. “Now we have to congratulate Brazil because they were higher than us.”
For Brazil, the nice and cozy feelings began well before the opening whistle.
Stadium 974, which sits on Doha’s humid waterfront, was still just filling up when the primary big cheer of the night rang out across the stands. Emerging out of the tunnel and onto the crisp green field, sporting a newly blond hairdo and glistening diamonds on his earlobes, was Neymar, who had missed the Brazilians’ previous two games after injuring his right ankle of their opening match.
Brazil, as the following 90 minutes would show, boasts a wondrous assemblage of talent, with a squad composed of a number of the world’s finest players. But a lot still revolves around Neymar, the mercurial playmaker from São Paulo. He was the person every fan desired to see.
Neymar looked mostly like his usual self, gliding across the grass with the ball, unbalancing defenders together with his slinky moves.
“I can’t be one hundred pc satisfied with today’s game,” said Neymar, who noted that he felt no pain in his ankle. “We want to aim for more. We want to grow.”
But for the remaining teams on this tournament, the scary thing about Brazil will not be the return of Neymar, however the emergence of so many sparkling talents around him. As a bunch, they will probably be seeking to keep the dancing going deep into the tournament.