Early goals in each half saw Brazil kick off the FIFA Confederations Cup in style with a 3-0 win over Japan at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. Neymar, the poster-boy for this tournament and next summer's FIFA World Cup™, made sure the game began in sensational fashion with a breathtaking opening goal.
Paulinho doubled the hosts' lead following a good cross by Dani Alves. In the final few moments, substitute Jo completed a straightforward victory in the hosts' first competitive fixture for almost two years.
After a colourful opening ceremony, the atmosphere before kick-off in the Estadio Nacional was electric. Neymar made sure the anticipation was matched with a wonderful effort from distance.
From the left wing, Real Madrid defender Marcelo hit a long cross-field pass towards Fred. The No9's chest control was met by Neymar, whose perfect half-volleyed effort flew past Eiji Kawashima and into the Japanese goal.
The sea of yellow and green in the stands erupted and the new Barcelona forward responded by looking to the sky before being mobbed by his team-mates.
The remainder of the first half was mostly controlled by Brazil, and neither side created any clear-cut chances.
Dani Alves crossed from the Brazil right and, after taking one touch to compose himself, Paulinho struck the ball past Kawashima. The Japan goalkeeper managed to get a hand to the ball but could not prevent the Corinthians man from doubling the hosts' advantage.
Jo completed the victory, finishing off an Oscar through ball in the final few seconds.
The rain began to hammer down late in the game but it was not enough to dampen the spirits of the Brazilian fans. They will be hoping A Seleção can continue their successful return to competitive football in Fortaleza against Mexico.