How Mexico has falled in the Round of 16 time and again
04 July, 2018, 00:14 | Author: Greg Lawrence
In a World Cup which has had little respect for pedigree, Brazil made sure it did not become the latest heavyweight to fall with a 2-0 win over Mexico to reach the quarterfinals in Russian Federation.
Mexico were mesmerising in the opening 20 minutes, so good that Tite had a concerned look on his face.
Following the match, Neymar stated: "I think it's more an attempt to undermine me than anything else".
Given his contribution, Neymar should have garnered only positive headlines, but he was the centre of attention for the wrong reasons too after overreacting to a challenge from Miguel Layun in the closing stages. The last two matches I didn't talk to the press because there's so many people talking.
"They stepped on me, that wasn't fair".
"I think it had an impact on our pace", said Osorio of the stoppage that arose from the Neymar-Layun incident.
The world's most expensive player put Brazil in the lead after his back-heel released Willian, who then sent the ball into the penalty area. But Brazilian keeper Alisson, lifted it over the goal for his first save of the game.
The game in Samara, Russia, kicked off in sweltering 92-degree temperatures, making it as much a struggle for survival as it was a soccer match.
Brazil had to wait until the 88th minute to put the match to bed when Neymar was the architect, crossing for Firmino to tap the ball home. I saw what happened. "I need to help my team, I have to play I have to play".
For most analysts, Brazil was simply a superior team that outplayed its opponent today, especially in the final 45 minutes. Credit must also be given to Tite, who made sure that the team's defence was sorted before the tournament. Apart from Neymar's shot which Guillermo Ochoa palmed away, it was all Mexico.
The five-time World Cup winners went up a gear and dominated the rest of the game as the Mexicans ran out of steam with Willian and Neymar going close.
Brazil defender Thiago Silva meanwhile heaped praise on Neymar, who only returned to playing shortly before the tournament following an injury layoff of more than three months.
Focused and fearless, Mexico continued to trouble Brazil in the opening stages, with Fagner in particular struggling massively to cope with the threat down his side.
Mexico impressed everyone by defeating defending champions Germany and then South Korea, but their performance dropped off slightly against Sweden when they lost 3-0 so they will be looking to bounce back from that.
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