International Friendly: Brazil 6 Australia 0
By Football News
Brazil cruised to a 6-0 friendly win over Australia on Saturday as the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosts produced a ruthless performance.
Two goals from Jo and Neymar's strike saw the hosts leading comfortably by half-time at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, named for the legendary two-time World Cup winner.
A true great of the Brazilian game, Garrincha would have run amok against lacklustre Australia.
And although Barcelona's new star signing Neymar is the only member of the current crop with the potential to match his predecessor's legacy, they still had more than enough to brush aside the visitors without getting out of second gear.
Ramires added a fourth just before the hour mark, before Alexandre Pato and Luiz Gustavo extended the margin of victory further still, completing a comprehensive victory for Luiz Felipe Scolari's men.
After dominating the opening exchanges, it took Brazil just eight minutes to open the scoring.
Neymar found Bernard at the back post, and his volley hit the woodwork, with Jo on hand to slam home the rebound from close range.
The second arrived in the 33rd minute, when Paulinho seized on a loose pass from Brett Holman. Maicon moved the ball forward quickly to Bernard, who crossed for Jo to net again.
Less than two minutes later, Brazil made it 3-0 and put the result beyond any doubt.
Ramires' slide-rule pass in behind Australia's defence allowed Neymar to ease past Ryan McGowan, and the Barcelona forward raced away to slip a cool finish beyond Mark Schwarzer.
Maxwell replaced the injured Marcelo at left-back for the second half and it was the substitute who supplied the cross for Brazil's fourth, picking out Ramires to head beyond Schwarzer in the 58th minute.
A beautifully crafted move involving two more substitutes produced Brazil's fifth on 73 minutes. Hernanes scooped the ball over Australia's backline and Neymar cut it back to Pato, whose clever back-heeled finish left Schwarzer helpless.
More punishment arrived with seven minutes to go, when Luiz Gustavo exchanged passes with Neymar before slamming a strike from distance beyond Schwarzer.
In a worrying subtext for the Brazilian government ahead of the World Cup, there were renewed clashes between protesters and police before the match, although not on the scale of the unrest that marked the FIFA Confederations Cup in June.