Star-studded Brazil survived a second-half fightback by Egypt to win their men’s Olympic football opener 3-2 in Cardiff on Thursday.
Goals from Manchester United’s Rafael Da Silva, Leandro Damiao and sought-after Santos forward Neymar put Brazil 3-0 up and cruising at the break as an easy win beckoned.
But Egypt captain Mohamed Aboutrika and second-half substitute Mohamed Salah’s strikes ensured a tense finish for the five-time world champions, who are seeking their first Olympic title.
The influential Neymar set up Brazil’s opener on 16 minutes with a defence-splitting ball to Rafael, who squeezed his shot home from inside the box.
Damiao was on target on 26 minutes when Neymar, punishing defensive weakness on a long ball forwards, cut back for the Internacional forward to hammer his shot home from near the penalty spot.
And Neymar started and finished a move on the half-hour when he dribbled across the defence, picked out Hulk on the left and then powered a close-range header through the arms of Egypt ‘keeper Ahmed Elshenawi.
A samba atmosphere in the Millennium Stadium faded when Aboutrika pulled one back from a goalmouth scramble, before Salah shot home with 14 minutes to go. But the Egyptians were unable to find the equaliser.