LILLE, France – The Brazilian national soccer team defeated Japan 3-1 on Friday in a friendly match.
The contest in this northern French city served as an opportunity for Brazil coach Tite to provide playing time for his substitutes ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Neymar, Marcelo and Gabriel Jesus secured the win for the five-time world champion in the first 40 minutes at the expense of toothless Japan.
Japan was missing three starters: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) and Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), all left off the squad due to a lack of form.
After consulting with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the match official awarded Brazil a penalty Neymar successfully converted in the 10th minute to score his eighth career goal against Japan.
It was the first-ever use of VAR in a match involving Brazil.
The referee awarded another penalty to Brazil six minutes later. But Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima made the stop, turning the ball into a corner.
Seizing on a poor clearance by the Japanese defenders, Marcelo fired a shot that found the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Japan did not threaten Brazil’s goal in the first half, except for Maya Yoshida’s free kick in the 30th minute, which hit the crossbar.
Having the 2-0 lead, Brazil conceded possession to Japan and relied on counter-attacks, one of which ended with Gabriel Jesus converting a low cross from Danilo in the 36th minute.
Tomoaki Makino scored for Japan in the 63th minute.