Neymar and Willian shine as Brazil knock Mexico out of World Cup

Brazil's progress to the last eight of the finals never looked in doubt

Joaquim Piera

Neymar and Roberto Firmino were on target as Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 on Monday to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup. 

After seeing favourites Germany, Portugal, Argentina and Spain eliminated over the last week, the pressure was on Brazil to avoid another upset. 

They never looked like losing to Mexico, though, and will now meet the winner of Japan against Belgium in the last eight. 

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa continued his fine form in the finals -- as was the case four years ago -- to ensure the sides went in goalless at the break. 

However, there was little Ochoa could do as the Brazil pressure continued after the interval. 

Neymar and Willian combined to open the scoring. Neymar cut inside, relaying a reverse pass to the impressive Willian, who darted to the left before re-finding the world’s most expensive footballer at the far post. 

Mexico rallied after going behind, but despite the best efforts of Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela, they rarely troubled Brazil. 

Tite’s side had such a good shape, with Miranda especially good, and looked so professional and assured that they always seemed in control of the tie. 

If Alisson Becker was called into action, it was to stop long-range efforts, like Vela’s from outside the box which he tipped over. 

The chances of the game going into extra-time disappeared in the final minutes, when Neymar beat the offside trap to set up the second goal of the game. 

His shot was saved by Ochoa, but Liverpool’s Firmino, who had just replaced Philippe Coutinho, rolled home from six yards.

Brazil have not really got going in this World Cup but that may be more of a worry for future opponents than it is for them. 

Because without ever getting going, they’ve been almost untroubled on their path to the last eight. 


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