RIO DE JANEIRO – Neymar scored a brace, including the fastest goal in Olympic history, Gabriel Jesus got two more and Marquinhos and Luan added one each as Brazil swept past Honduras 6-0 into the final of the men’s Olympic tournament on Wednesday.
The home side, playing in front of a packed Maracana stadium and desperately seeking the only international title they have yet to win, got off to the perfect start by scoring after just 15 seconds.
Honduras knocked the ball back from the kick-off, but Neymar caught Johnny Palacios in possession on the edge of the box and bravely challenged the keeper to bundle the ball into the net.
The goal got the famously fickle Brazil fans behind the home side and Gabriel Jesus doubled the score in 26 minutes. Luan freed the new Manchester City signing from the offside trap, and his assured finish went under the advancing keeper from 18 yards.
The same player made it three eight minutes later when he ran onto a superb 30-yard pass from Neymar to lift the ball over the keeper and into the roof of the net.
Marquinhos got a fourth in 51 minutes, which he hammered home from three yards at the second attempt when the ball fell kindly to him at a corner.
Luan got the goal his hard work deserved 12 minutes from time, side-footing the ball home from close in after nice set-up work from Gabriel Barbosa and substitute Felipe Anderson.
Neymar made it six when he calmly slotted home a penalty in the final minute after Luan was upended.
The win raises the tantalising possibility of a Brazil-Germany final, and a repeat of the 2014 World Cup semi-final in which Germany hammered the host nation 7-1.
Brazil will play the winner of the Germany-Nigeria match in Saturday’s final.