But they could hardly be called lukewarm opponents.
Goal number 55 came after crashing in a superb goal as a second-half substitute versus Croatia at Anfield last weekend to seal a 2-0 victory.
The Paris St Germain forward scored his 55th global goal to go level with Romario and sit joint-third in Brazil's all-time scoring charts during their impressive victory.
Despite Brazil's chances looking up, coach Tite remains little-known outside his own country where he has spent almost entire career, coaching more than 10 teams, and including three stints at domestic club Corinthians where he made his name. But boy, did it work well.
So, how have they managed that?
Among fans, similar levels of optimism were encountered. Spain are playing very well, and Germany are always strong. Brazil are certainly one of the top contenders for the title with a team filled with pace and quality.
Brazil are back! And boy can they play.
Costa is expected to be a backup for Neymar during the World Cup. At the time, Thiago was injury prone and seemingly burnt-out while Marquinhos was "flying".
In a subplot to the main action in the final, the Portuguese manager tipped Brazil to get a degree of revenge over Germany for their humiliation four years ago by backing the Samba Boys to beat Die Mannschaft in the third-place playoff.
Make no mistake: Dani Alves will be missed by the Selecao, especially for his leadership and experience.
On Sunday, those in a bitterly divided land may put their differences to one side and finally unite in order to get behind a team reimagined under Tite and with a genuine chance of going all the way in Russian Federation.
Air Force Captain AWOL For 35 Years Is Arrested In California
He faces a maximum sentence of five years confinement, forfeiture of all pay and dishonourable discharge for his desertion. Nevertheless speculation persisted that Hughes may have been abducted by or defected to the Soviets.