Neymar scores hat trick as Brazil routs China 8-0
RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — Neymar scored three goals as Brazil thrashed China 8-0 on Monday, rebounding from a lackluster win over South Africa and easing the pressure on coach Mano Menezes.
Neymar, who was among those jeered three days ago after the poor performance against South Africa, scored in the 26th, 54th and 60 minutes at the Arruda Stadium in the northeastern city of Recife.
Ramires opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, Lucas added another in the 48th and Hulk got his goal in the 51st. Brazil also scored through an own goal by Chinese defender Liu Jianye in the 71st, and Oscar sealed the victory by converting a penalty kick in the 75th.
Brazil beat South Africa 1-0 Friday as fans in Sao Paulo loudly jeered the team, especially Neymar and Menezes, who was booed nearly every time he left the bench to give instructions to players or to make substitutions.
The pressure for the coach to resign had increased significantly last month after he failed to lead Brazil to the Olympic gold medal despite a squad filled with most of his top players.
The crowd of nearly 30,000 fans at the Arruda applauded the national team after Monday's match was over, though, and even Menezes was celebrated.
"Without the support from the fans everything becomes a lot harder," right back Daniel Alves said. "It was important to have the fans on our side tonight."
It was the first time Brazil won by more than four goals since the coach took over after the 2010 World Cup.
Brazil didn't play great against China but faced fewer difficulties than it did against South Africa, controlling possession and threatening from the beginning.
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