Brazil finally found its scoring touch in the men’s football tournament at the Olympics.
The host country advanced to the quarter-finals by beating Denmark 4-0 on Wednesday, avoiding another embarrassing elimination in front of the home fans.
Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa scored twice and Gabriel Jesus and Luan added the others at the Arena Fonte Nova as Brazil continue their quest to win the Olympic gold medal for the first time.
The Brazilians will next play Colombia on Saturday in São Paulo.
Brazil had been held to scoreless draws in their first two group games and needed a victory to guarantee a spot in the knockout round. They ended up first in Group A with five points, one more than Denmark, who also advanced and will play Nigeria in Salvador. South Africa and Iraq were eliminated after a 1-1 draw in São Paulo.
The convincing victory also helped Brazil regain the support of the local fans, who had been disappointed by lacklustre performances and had loudly jeered the team in the games against South Africa and Iraq.
The crowd of more than 40,000 fans was behind the team from the start in Salvador and chanted “The champions are back” during parts of the game.
Led by Neymar, Brazil arrived as favourites to win the Olympic tournament, which is the only trophy the five-time world champions have not won.