Brazil 4-0 Japan: Kaká inspires Brazil to 4-0 demolition of Japan
The Santos star combined to great effect with the returning Kaká to inspire the Seleção to a dominant victory despite some nervy moments for the defence as Japan posed a threat on the break.
An early opportunity came for Japan as Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa played in Keisuke Honda who shot straight at Diego Alves in goal.
Corinthians midfielder Paulinho then opened the scoring with a stunning strike from 30 yards after a lay off from Kaká, using the outside of his boot to curl the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
Paulinho almost doubled their lead just minutes later after latching onto a through ball from Neymar and taking it around Kawashima, but he dragged the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.
A controversial penalty was given for handball against defender Nagatomo after Kaká collected the ball in the penalty box, with TV replays showing the decision to be harsh on the Samurai Blue. Neymar stepped up to convert the penalty to make it 2-0 after 25 minutes.
Brazil stepped up their game with some sensational football, but Japan posed a danger on the counterattack in the second half as Diego Alves was forced to pull off a smart save after a low shot from Hasebe from outside of the box.
Neymar then wasted a chance after being put through by Kaká as he could only lash the shot well wide of the net.
Kaká later had the chance to shoot himself on the edge of the box but was denied by the post with a well placed shot after some good work on the left wing from Neymar.
Brazil then extended their lead just moments into the second half after a goalmouth scramble in the six yard box saw Neymar scuff a shot which deflected off Yoshida and past the flailing Kawashima in goal to make it 3-0.
Japan continued to expose Brazil's frail defence with a shot from Honda which deflected just past the post. The subsequent corner saw Kagawa exchange a one-two with Honda and lash a shot just inches wide of the goal from 15 yards.
Brazil continued their assault on Japan's goal, Neymar winning a freekick from which Hulk smashed a left footed shot against the post via a deflection off the wall.
Real Madrid's Kaká, on his second appearance since his return to the Seleção, was delivering an oustanding performance, linking up brilliantly with Neymar.
Ramires then tapped in a Neymar cross from the touchline which, according to TV replays, seemed to be wrongly disallowed by the assistant referee.
Brazil were content to sit back and expose Japan on the counter and they did so to devastating effect on the 76th minute as Kaká found himself one on one with the keeper and slotted the ball past him and in off the far post.
Kaká then left the pitch to rapturous applause from the visiting fans as he was replaced by São Paulo's Lucas Moura.
Arsenal's Ryo Miyaichi was amongst a raft of substitutions in the final stages as Brazil ran out dominant winners over a strong Japan side.
Brazil: Diego Alves, Adriano, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Leandro Castán, Paulinho, Ramires (Sandro, 87), Oscar (Thiago Neves, 88), Kaká (Lucas Moura, 81), Hulk (Giuliano, 76), Neymar (Leandro Damiao, 85).
Japan: Kawashima, Uchida (Sakai, 45), Konno, Yoshida (Kurihawa, 89), Nagatomo, Nakamura (Inui, 45), Endo, Hasebe (Hosogai, 62), Kiyotake (Miyaichi, 89), Kagawa, Honda.
Referee: Marcin Borski
Yellow cards: Ramires, David Luiz.