Brazil got their Confederations Cup title defence off to the perfect start with a thrilling 3-0 victory against Japan in Brasilia.
Goals from Neymar, Paulinho and Jo ensured the Selecao maintained their unbeaten record against the Asian champions with a convincing performance to alleviate some of the pressure on Luiz Felipe Scolari's shoulders.
Brazil's performances had come under scrutiny since the re-appointment of Scolari but they appeared solid at the back and irresistable in attack, throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the world that they are serious contenders for the World Cup next summer.
There had been much debate as to whether new Barcelona signing Neymar could rise to the occasion and he provided the hosts with the dream start with a sumptuous strike after just three minutes.
The 21-year-old ended his nine-game streak without a goal for club and country with a stunning half-volley into the top right corner after Marcelo's cross had been deftly cushioned into his path by the chest of Fred.
Japan almost struck back immediately when Keisuke Honda tried his luck from distance but his fierce free kick was palmed to safety by Julio Cesar.
The CSKA Moscow midfielder proved a constant thorn in the Selecao side and he forced the QPR shot-stopper into another save on 18 minutes from the edge of the box after jinking inside the challenge of David Luiz.
The partnership of Dani Alves and Hulk down the right wing was causing the Japanese defence problems and the pair combined excellently on 22 minutes, but the Zenit forward's dangerous low cross was crucially hooked clear by Japan captain Makoto Hasebe.
The same two players combined again five minutes before the break with Alves feeding Hulk on the right-hand side of the box. The forward cut inside the challenge of Yuto Nagatomo onto his preferred left foot before thumping a ferocious drive into the side netting with Eiji Kawashima scrambling.
The Samurai Blue came out of the blocks quickly after the interval but it was the hosts who doubled their advantage three minutes into the second half.
The relentless Alves drove forward from defence before his fizzing low cross was controlled expertly by Paulinho, whose low shot somehow squirmed under the body of Kawashima.
Alberto Zaccheroni's side really should have pulled a goal back on 50 minutes when Hiroshi Kiyotake's teasing low cross found Shinji Okazaki in the area, but the Stuttgart forward inexplicably steered his effort the wrong side of the post.
Ryoichi Maeda was introduced in a bid to add some attacking steel to Japan's play and the striker nearly reduced the deficit on 72 minutes when he latched onto a loose ball in the Brazil box before swivelling and forcing Cesar into a smart stop with his low effort.
The boos did ring out for Scolari, however, when he opted to withdraw Neymar from the action, but with games against Italy and Mexico to come, the 64-year-old's decision was understandable.
Late substitute Jo added gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time when he swept home from Oscar's pass after a devastating counter-attack to cap a wonderful display from Scolari's side.
Brazil could secure progress to the semi-finals with victory against Mexico on Wednesday whilst Japan look to get their first points on the board when they face Italy.
|Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari|
for Neymar 74'
for Hulk 75'
for Fred 81'
|Venezuela Primera Division Wrap: Zamora increase advantage with Tachira scalp|
|Uruguay Primera Division Wrap: Nacional capitalise on Fenix fumble|
|Liga MX Wrap: Tigres UANL end Cruz Azul unbeaten run|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Independiente, Loja slip up to send Emelec top|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Wins for Herediano, Deportivo Saprissa|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Wrap: Club Universitario open gap|
|Chile Primera Division Wrap: Colo Colo cruise past Union La Calera|
|Benitez: 11th-hour injuries could not halt Napoli|
|La Liga Wrap: Real capitalise on Barca slip-up, Valencia and Bilbao draw|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Benfica extend lead, Porto close in on Sporting|
|Garcia frustrated by toothless Roma|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Lille pull clear of Saint-Etienne, Lyon stage dramatic fightback|
|Thohir hints at Zanetti retirement|
|Serie A Wrap: Callejon sinks Roma, Juventus equal record|
|Ancelotti urges Real focus|
|Lazio fans boycott match in protest|
|CAF Confederation Cup Wrap: Djoliba, Petro de Luanda progress|
|CAF Champions League Wrap: Al Ahly survive after shootout, Cotonsport hammer Flambeau|
|League One Preview: Sheffield United out to build on cup exploits|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid v Milan|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Bayern Munich v Arsenal|
|La Liga: Real Madrid 3 Levante 0|
|Pellegrini wants reaction in Barcelona|
|Championship Preview: Derby aim to bounce back, QPR face Brighton|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Dortmund edge Freiburg, Mainz rescue point|
|Rosler revels in Wigan success|
|Eredivisie Wrap: Ajax held, Twente beaten|
|Kehl is Dortmund´s man with a plan|
|Poyet eager to forget cup exploits|
|Thai Premier League Wrap: Muang Thong United, Buriram United with perfect starts|
|FA Cup: Manchester City 1 Wigan Athletic 2|
|Mazzarri warns Inter after narrow win|
|Bruce excited by ´great´ FA Cup draw|
|Mata optimistic ahead of key games|
|Mata optimistic ahead of key games|
|League Two Preview: Chesterfield eye riposte, Scunthorpe meet Southend|
|Bundesliga: Freiburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 1|
|Hull to face Sheffield United in FA Cup semis|
|Powell switches attention to league after Cup exit|
|Montella bemoans slow Fiorentina start|
|Serie A: Inter 1 Torino 0|
|FA Cup: Hull City 3 Sunderland 0|
|Conte declares Juve ´50 per cent champions´|
|Clough aiming for more glory days|
|Championship: Blackburn Rovers 1 Burnley 2|
|CSL Wrap: Guangzhou Evergrande, Shandong Luneng make winning starts|
|Etherington set to leave Stoke|
|FA Cup: Sheffield United 2 Charlton Athletic 0|
|Leverkusen´s Hegeler set to miss rest of season|
|Hodgson wants to see out England contract|
|Serie A: Juventus 1 Fiorentina 0|
|Garcia does not fear Getafe sack|
|Gourcuff: Blanc is not a coach|
|Martinez delighted with ´fresh´ Barkley|
|Calderon believes Betis can survive|
|K-League Wrap: Ulsan gain Pohang revenge, Jeonbuk beat Busan|
|Abbas lodges complaint over alleged racist abuse|
|A-League Wrap: Brisbane extend lead, Perth hold Wellington|
|Solskjaer praises ´leader´ Caulker|
|Defeat to Fiorentina was a ´wake-up call´, says Conte|
|Wenger confident ahead of Bayern challenge|
|Hughton frustrated at missed opportunities|
|Mourinho insists title in City´s hands|
|Stuttgart replace Schneider with Stevens|
|MLS Wrap: Vancouver thrash Red Bulls, Sporting fails in Seattle|
|Ranieri hails Berbatov´s performance after maiden goal|
|Schneider refuses to ´run away´ from Stuttgart|
|´Loyalty´ means nothing to Hodgson|
|CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Cruz Azul next for Sporting|
|Hoddle: Sherwood should have kept complaints in-house|
|Penalty hero Leno worried about Leverkusen´s ´uncertainty´|
|Keller praises Schalke´s ´right response´|
|AFC Champions League Preview: Evergrande face tricky trip|
|Ancelotti hails Isco as ´the new Seedorf´|
|La Liga Wrap: Barcelona lose again, Atletico go top|
|Simeone applauds ´specialist´ Villa|
|Serie A Wrap: Di Natale condemns Milan to defeat, Catania held by Cagliari|
|Eredivisie Wrap: Vitesse leapfrog Twente, six on the spin for PSV|
|Primeira Liga: Braga 2 Nacional 1|
|Terry rules out England return|
|CAF Champions League Wrap: Raja Casablanca crash out on penalties, Nkana progress|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Evian, Valenciennes boost survival chances, Ibrahimovic stars for PSG|
|Mourinho: Spurs didn´t scare us|
|CAF Confederation Cup Wrap: Bayelsa United, Zesco advance|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Augsburg win again, Schalke move level with Leverkusen|
|Sherwood slams sorry Spurs|
|Rapids legend Mastroeni hired as coach|
|La Liga: Celta Vigo 0 Atletico Madrid 2|
|Seedorf rues tired Milan performance|
|Di Natale hails ´important´ Udinese win|
|Susic angered by Dzeko criticism|
|Premier League: Chelsea 4 Tottenham 0|
|Hughton bemoans ´soft´ penalty decision|
|Blanc hails Ibrahimovic after Bastia win|
|Hughes laments ´harsh´ Walters red|
|Serie A: Udinese 1 Milan 0|
|Pulis calls for ruthlessness|
|Solskjaer delights in ´big result´|
|League Two Wrap: Accrington stun Chesterfield, Northampton hold Scunthorpe|
|Scottish Premiership Wrap: Motherwell, Hibs play out thriller, Kilmarnock overcome lowly Hearts|
|Guardiola not satisfied despite Bayern rout|
|Pochettino talks up Southampton World Cup credentials|
|Magath defends Mitroglou|
|Title race not over, claims defiant Martino|
|League One Wrap: Orient held at bottom club Notts County, Wolves go top|
|Championship Wrap: Derby´s promotion bid dented, Barnsley surprise Forest|
|Mel: Van Persie should have seen red|
|Van Persie substitution was planned, claims Moyes|
|Ligue 1: Bastia 0 Paris Saint-Germain 3|
|Premier League: Norwich City 1 Stoke City 1|
|Premier League: Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 1|
|Premier League: Cardiff City 3 Fulham 1|
|La Liga: Real Valladolid 1 Barcelona 0|
|Bundesliga: Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 6|
|Wenger delighted with Ozil showing|
|Martinez questions ´soft´ Arsenal penalty|
|J.League Wrap: Sanfrecce fight back as top four win again|
|Premier League: West Brom 0 Manchester United 3|
|FA Cup: Arsenal 4 Everton 1|
|Garcia piles pressure on Napoli|
|Barca are not in decline, Xavi insists|
|Arbeloa out of Levante clash|
|Montolivo agent rules out Milan exit|
|A-League Wrap: Sydney FC seal first derby win, Jets end Heart run|
|Pellegrini backs Aguero and Negredo|
|Lucas benefiting from first-team run, says Blanc|
|Moyes: Players are behind me|
|Marchisio not motivated by revenge|
|Magath: Must-win game for Cardiff|
|Sherwood: I´m the right man for Tottenham|
|Colombia Primera A Wrap: Double joy for Atletico Nacional|
|Davids: Del Piero should delay coaching plans|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Atletico Mineiro, Velez Sarsfield near progression|