No Oscar? No problem. Brazil rested a pair of stars and cruised past New Zealand anyway, with Neymar putting on another show at St. James' Park. The favourites, who needed a draw to top the group, were clearly the better side, and it took just twenty minutes before they broke the deadlock, with a lovely through ball releasing midfielder Danilo into the New Zealand penalty area. He had just Michael O'Keeffe to beat, and although the goalkeeper got a hand to his low-hard shot it went in anyway.
Minutes later and Internacional forward Leandro Damiao doubled Brazil's advantage, finishing from close range after some very nice work down the left wing, and Sandro made it 3-0 after the break when he met a free kick at the far post, the midfielder's shot aided by a substantial deflection. Neymar had been brilliant throughout, orchestrating the complete disassembly of New Zealand's defence, but the prodigy failed to get the goal his performance deserved when he managed to sky a Rafael cross over the bar from five yards and O'Keeffe stranded.
The game died down by that point, and the sending off of Alex Sandro for a dive in the penalty area combined with a substitution for Neymar rather stymied Brazil as a serious attacking threat, but the damage was already done. Brazil are through to the quarterfinals as group winners. Surprise!