Goals from Rafael, Damiao and Neymar had the South Americans in cruise control but a second-half fight back from the Pharaohs had the tournament favourites on the ropesBrazil opened their Olympic campaign with a 3-2 win over Egypt, despite a spirited second-half comeback from the Pharaohs.
Goals from Rafael Da Silva, Leandro Damiao and Neymar saw the Selecao race into a three-goal lead at half time. Mohamed Abou Trika and Mohamed Salah hit back in the second half but it was not enough.
Mano Menezes was forced to make a change from the team that beat Great Britain in a friendly last week, Rafael Cabral has been ruled out of the Games through injury, so back-up goalkeeper Neto was promoted to make his first international start.
Brazil forced their way into the game early as Hulk weaved between four men before slipping the ball back towards Neymar whose first-time shot just whistled past Ahmed El-Shenawy’s left-hand post.
The Pharaohs went close to scoring in fortunate circumstances soon after. Emad Moteab charged down Neto's attempted clearance but the ball ballooned over the bar.
It was not long after that Egyptian chance when Brazil opened the scoring after 16 minutes, somewhat against the run of the play.
Chelsea’s new signing Oscar changed pace and feet before playing a through ball to Rafael. The full-back took one touch on his right foot and, without looking up, rifled home with his left for his first international goal.
Damiao blasted into an open net after Oscar ran onto Hulk’s flick on. He rounded El-Shenawy and played a pass past two Egyptian defenders to Damiao who buried his chance.
It was three inside the first half an hour. Neymar showed some fancy footwork to the backline before picking out Hulk on the left-hand. The striker continued his run into the box and met Hulk’s cross into the box and headed past a helpless El-Shenawy.
It should have been four on the 40 minute mark but the goalkeeper atoned for his earlier mistake and saved well at the feet Damiao from Hulk’s whipped in free kick.
There was a good chance for the Pharaohs’ to pull one back before half-time but Mohamed Aboutrika’s free-kick did not have enough curl on the ball and it sailed harmlessly wide of Neto’s goal.
Egypt pulled a consolation goal at the start of the second-half to the delight of their captain.
Motaeb hit the post after a melee in the box and the ball fell to Aboutrika who poked the ball home to give the Pharaohs’ a glimmer of hope with under 40 minutes left of the game.
Mohamed Salah should have made it 3-2 as he tried to capitalise on Marcelo's mistake but he was always off-balance and his shot was eventually blocked by the recovering full-back.
Ahmed Fathi's long range effort just whistled past the post as Egypt continued to press without scoring.
But the goal did come and Salah did make it 3-2. He turned his man inside and out before producing a curling left-footed effort past Neto.
Marcelo and substitute Ganso went close late on for Brazil as the tournament favourites just held on for the three points.