DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Neymar started against South Korea in the round of 16 of the World Cup on Monday and scored in the first half to move one goal shy of Pelé’s all-time scoring record with Brazil.
Neymar converted a 13th-minute penalty kick to help Brazil build a 4-0 lead in the first half with the second goal of the match. Vinícius Júnior, Richarlison and Lucas Paquetá also scored for Brazil.
Neymar has 76 goals with Brazil, one shy of the all-time record set by Pelé.
The star forward hadn’t played since injuring his right ankle in the team’s opening match against Serbia. Brazil coach Tite had said Neymar would play from the start at Stadium 974 depending on how he did in training on Sunday.
Danilo, who also injured his ankle in Brazil’s opener, joined Neymar in the starting lineup against South Korea. He played at left back, though, because Alex Sandro remained sidelined with a hip injury. The other left back, Alex Telles, was dropped from the squad because of a knee injury sustained in Brazil’s loss to Cameroon in its last group game. Central defender Éder Militão was playing at right back.
Neymar’s teammates in attack were Vinícius Júnior, Richarlison and Raphinha.
Gabriel Jesus also was dropped from the squad because of a knee injury.
Brazil is trying to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the eighth straight time. South Korea hasn’t made it past the last 16 since its historic run to the semifinals in the tournament it co-hosted in 2002.
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