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Scolari surprised at South Africa’s WC absence

06 March 2014, 20:30

Johannesburg - Brazil’s 5-0 drubbing against South Africa in Wednesday’s international friendly does not paint the full picture of how the game played out, visiting coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said.

“The scoreline doesn’t actually tell the whole story. I think South Africa played very well. They moved the ball well and they’re a good team,” Scolari said in Johannesburg after the game.

Barcelona star Neymar scored a superb hat-trick to lead the rout.

The 22-year-old wonderkid netted either side of half-time with two outstanding goals after Oscar put Brazil ahead 11 minutes into the game.

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho added a fourth from distance, sinking into the top corner to all but put the result to bed 10 minutes from time.

Neymar had the last say, adding the finishing touches in the final minute of regular time as Bafana suffered their worst ever defeat in front of a massive home crowd at Soccer City.

“It’s actually a surprise that this team isn’t at the World Cup, the way they play,” Scolari said.

“The difference between the teams is that we have some very special, quality players.”

The 65-year-old said he was happy with what he saw from his troops, who played their final friendly encounter before the announcement of the 23-man Fifa World Cup squad

“There were a lot of times when we had players working hard for the team and not for themselves, then the special players can take advantage, as the guys who work hard open spaces for them,” Scolari said.

As the five-time World Champions finalise their preparations for the World Cup, Scolari believed the 2014 host-nation was well on course for the start of the tournament.

“Normally, any coach would say that every area needs improvement because we always want to improve all of the time.

“But we’re really happy with what we saw today in most areas. Obviously there will be one or two little things that we’ll need to correct, but that will be done in the training sessions.”

Brazil will play two further friendlies — against Panama and Serbia — before the start of the competition in June.

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