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Brazil thrash China, build bridges with fans

Publish Date: 11 Sep 2012, 05:38 PM
Last Updated: 11 Sep 2012, 05:38 PM
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Brazil thrash China 8-0 in friendly
Brazil thrash China 8-0 in friendly

Neymar scored a hat-trick as Brazil crushed China 8-0 in a friendly in Recife on Monday, appeasing home fans who had jeered their poor display against South Africa last week.

The northeast of Brazil, and Recife in particular, has traditionally given the team strong support in hard times so there was no better place for Mano Menezes's beleaguered side to come than the Arruda stadium.

After losing the London Olympics final to Mexico last month, Brazil were jeered during an unconvincing 1-0 win over South Africa in Sao Paulo on Friday.

At the end of Monday's match, Brazil's players gathered in the middle of the pitch to thank the fans for their renewed support.

"That's the connection we have to have with the fans. We know what we must improve but without them we can't improve," right back Daniel Alves said.

"With their help it's all going to be easier. The Brazil teams belongs to us all and if we have that connection the work with flow," he told reporters as he left the pitch.

Brazil took time to get going before Ramires opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, exchanging a one-two with Oscar on the left and lobbing goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.

Burly striker Hulk, who scored the only goal on Friday, started the move that led to Neymar netting the second goal from Oscar's low cross.

Neymar celebrated with a wide grin and as Brazil went in 2-0 up at halftime, he said: "No one can take away my smile, regardless of the jeers or praise."

Brazil, who also hit the woodwork twice in the first half, went on to record their biggest win under Menezes, enjoying the "oles" of the Recife crowd.

Midfielder Lucas scored the third three minutes into the second half and Hulk made it 4-0 from a rebound after Neymar's shot came back off the bar.

Neymar scored his second shortly after then completed his hat-trick with half an hour still to play before coming off to a rousing ovation and was replaced by Jonas.

Brazil completed the rout with an own goal by Liu Jianye and a penalty converted by Oscar after left back Marcelo had been fouled.

China only managed two chances on goal, the best a header from Zhang Yuan from a corner which goalkeeper Diego Alves kept out with a fine reflex save.

The Chinese, who have played at one World Cup in 2002 and are already out of the Asian qualifiers for Brazil 2014, are ranked 78th in the world, while five-times world champions Brazil are 12th.

Brazil will next meet arch-rivals Argentina in two friendlies using players from the two countries' domestic leagues, at home in Goiania on Sept. 19 and away on Oct. 3.

(Agencies)

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