Brazil were bidding to end their five-game streak without a win following on from their Copa America triumph in the summer, against South Korea in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Despite cementing himself as one of the best players in his position, the outing was Fabinho‘s first appearance in Tite’s starting XI since October 2018, stepping into the side in place of Casemiro.
The Selecao needn’t wait long to land the first blow, however, as Lucas Paqueta worked his way into the six-yard box and outmuscled his opponent to head in Renan Lodi’s cross with nine minutes on the clock.
Phillipe Coutinho just scored a beautiful free-kick for Brazil vs. South Korea.
— Complaxes (@Complaxes) November 19, 2019
It was a lead which was doubled by ex-Red Philippe Coutinho after 35 minutes when Fabinho was impeded as he looked to drive inside the box, earning a free-kick to which the Brazilian curled into the back of the net.
South Korea’s Heung-min Son was intent on testing Alisson throughout, and while Liverpool’s No. 1 was comfortable more often than not, he did experience a slight scare when a dead ball strike on the edge of the area bounced off his chest with his follow up effort almost resulting in Coutinho turning the ball into his own net.
A third would be added by Danillo after the break with a drilled effort from outside the area, and while South Korea would go on to mount some pressure to peg back the deficit, Brazil held firm.
Roberto Firmino, meanwhile, was named among the substitutes in what would have been a welcome sight for the Reds as he has played a total of 1339 minutes of a possible 1740 for Liverpool so far this season, in addition to his international exploits.
He would play out the final six minutes of the clash alongside his Liverpool counterparts.
Unlike recent times where the Brazilian contingent have required a private plane for a swift return to Merseyside, they will return with time on their side as they now turn their attention to the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.