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Neymar Had His Ankle Stepped On, Then Stepped on Mexico's Throat

03 July, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • Brazil will look to avoid the fate of teams like Germany Spain Portugal and Argentina when they take on Mexico in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 clash on Monday

It's the seventh consecutive quarter-final appearance for the five-time champions, while Mexico exit in the last 16 for the seventh straight World Cup.

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.

A glaring spotlight had been on Neymar after his opening three performances saw him miss a litany of chances, frequently squander possession and spend far too long on the turf.

Tite's men are yet to hit full stride at Russian Federation 2018, and on this evidence they still have more to come, but Neymar's 51st-minute goal and Firmino's tap-in after coming off the bench means the tournament favourites progressed with relative comfort in the end, and avoided the early exit that has already befallen the likes of Spain, Germany and Argentina.

Brazil endured a frustrating opening 45 minutes as they head into the halftime break with the score level at 0-0 against Mexico in their round of 16 tie.

Brazil overtook Germany as the all-time leading scorers in FIFA World Cup history on Monday.

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Lozano had an effort blocked after two minutes as did Hector Herrera, but as the first half wore on Brazil got on top in the stifling Samara heat.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, meanwhile, made only two changes to the side that suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their final match, giving 39-year-old Rafael Marquez his first start of this World Cup.

After a goalless first half, Neymar soon gave Brazil the lead before substitute Firmino put the game out of Mexico's reach during the closing stages.

Minutes later, however, Brazil did make the breakthrough after a lovely team goal involving Neymar, whose impudent back heel released Willian down the left side of the area. Neymar is through on goal, his shot is saved and it falls to Firmino to tap it into an empty net.

After their slow start it was ultimately no more than the Selecao deserved, as their bid for a sixth world title marches on.

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