South Africa 0
Brazil (2) 5
Oscar 10, Neymar 41, 46, 90 Fernandinho 80
FNB Stadium - Bafana Bafana were cut to ribbons by the magic of Neymar and the Selecao on Wednesday, as Brazil warmed up for their World Cup by handing the hosts of the previous World Cup a record defeat.
South Africa had bothered Neymar and company in September 2012 in São Paulo, in an honourable 1-0 defeat, Gordon Igesund’s first game in charge of the national team. But here, in what could well prove the last game for Igesund as coach of Bafana, the Barcelona wizard, with a little help from his friends, dismantled South Africa with consummate ease.
Bafana could not find the vigour displayed in São Paulo, or that which had been on show in beating world champions Spain here last November.
Since then, Igesund’s Bafana reputation has rapidly lost its lustre, notably with the debacle of the African Nations Championships. Losing to Brazil carries no shame, and this was a much improved Selecao side from 2012, carrying plenty of momentum since Luis Felipe Scolari took over. But the manner of the defeat was galling, particularly a witless first half display, with little to cheer the home support, a crowd of around 51000 slowly filling the ground thanks to traffic chaos outside.
Igesund went into this game with just two changes from the side that had beaten world champions Spain last November. Thulani Serero, back after his spat with the Bafana coach, slotted into the side in place of Oupa Manyisa. And Ronwen Williams replaced injured captain Itumeleng Khune in goal.
For Brazil, right-back Rafinha and midfielder Fernandinho were given an opportunity to impress Luis Felipe Scolari ahead of the World Cup, alongside regulars Thiago Silva, Oscar and Neymar.
And Rafinha was involved in the second minute, slotting a lovely through ball for Oscar, the first of many times the Bafana defence was horribly sliced open.
On this occasion Oscar’s cross was gathered by Williams, and the Chelsea midfielder was then denied by a good block from Thabo Nthethe. Oscar, however, was not to be denied in the 10th minute.
It had taken Brazil 75 minutes to break down Bafana’s defence in Sao, with Hulk grabbing the late winner. This time, however, Hulk turned provider early at FNB Stadium, his sublime through ball finding Oscar, who clipped a delicate finish over Williams.
Neymar was in the mood to show off his tricks, at one point completely dismantling Daylon Claasen with a sublime piece of skill, before back-heeling a cheeky pass to Paulinho.
Bafana, meanwhile, were not helped in their task when Bongani Khumalo was stretchered off after a collision in the Brazil penalty area, Siyanda Xulu coming on, and looking totally off the pace.
Neymar, meanwhile, was more and more menacing as the half dragged on, latching on to a fine pass from Marcelo, but Williams did well to shut down the angle.
Just before the half-hour mark, a dreadful pass from Andile Jali was intercepted by Neymar, who left Xulu for dead, but Williams did superbly to get a touch to his shot, and the ball drifted wide.
The Barcelona forward, however, finally found the net in the 41st minute, as he again left Xulu for dead, and drilled a low shot between the legs of Williams.
Dean Furman managed an effort that flew just wide for Bafana on the stroke of half-time, but Igesund’s men were mostly awful, barely able to string three passes together in attack, and giving Brazil far too much space off the ball.
Brazil changed into a blue away strip at the break, and brought on Willian, Ramires and Luiz Gustavo, while Igesund brought on Manyisa for Rantie, presumably in a bid to add some midfield solidity.
Just seconds into the second half, Neymar struck again, picking up Fred’s flick, and lifting a brilliant finish over Williams.
The game got rather disjointed from there on, in a typical raft of further friendly match subtitutions, though Ayanda Patosi nearly scored with his first touch, picking up a fine pass from Serero, only to be denied by Julio Cesar.
Instead it was Brazil who added two more goals in the final minutes, Fernandinho capping a fine performance with a long-range rocket, and Neymar tapping in for his hat-trick in the final minute.