FIFA World Cup 2018, Highlights, Brazil vs Mexico: Neymar and Roberto Firmino scored in the 51st and 88th minute respectively to help Brazil qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Brazil roared in the World Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday as Neymar shone with a goal and an assist that dumped the central Americans out at the last 16 stage for the seventh straight occasion. The PSG forward slid home in the second half and then teed up Roberto Firmino late on as the five-times champions beat an otherwise stubborn Mexico, whose World Cup began with such promise with a victory over champions Germany, but ended in familiar fashion in the first knockout round. It was the seventh World Cup running that Brazil have reached the last eight, where they will now face Belgium or Japan, while Mexico have not made it to that stage since they hosted the tournament in 1986. Mexico, who enjoyed an enviable recent record against Brazil having won seven of their previous 15 matches against them, were a threat on the counter in the first half but then faded without ever really being put to the sword.
Highlights between Brazil vs Mexico, 2018 FIFA World Cup, straight from Samara Arena
“What greater motivation could you need when we face off against the five-time champions? It’s the perfect scene. It’s the biggest game of our lives.” Mexico’s last-16 misfortunes have often come down to the finest of margins. Defeat on penalties to surprise package Bulgaria in 1994 started an inauspicious run. They blew a lead against Germany four years later and against Argentina in 2006. Conceding twice to the Netherlands in the final minutes four years ago hurt more than most defeats, with a controversial penalty awarded for a theatrical Arjen Robben tumble deep into stoppage time sending the Dutch into the last eight. VAR (the video assistant referee) should prevent a repeat of that injustice, but Guardado has warned Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi not to be fooled by any playacting from the world’s most expensive player, Neymar. “We all know who Neymar is, but it isn’t up to me or my team to judge him, but the referees and FIFA,” he said. “Now there’s VAR they need to watch his style and know how to manage it.”We know he likes to exaggerate fouls, throw himself on the ground a lot, but that’s his style of play and the person who needs to stop that is the referee, not us.”
A Brazil side finding their stride in Russia after a slow start are arguably the toughest challenge Mexico could have asked for as they were punished for failing to back up victories over Germany and South Korea with defeat to Sweden to finish second in Group F. Under Colombian coach Juan Carlos Osorio, though, Mexico approach every game seeking to impose themselves rather than in fear of the opposition. “We will try to be more offensive-minded and more driven towards winning games rather than just being happy to be there and trying to not get embarrassed or playing not to lose,” said Osorio ahead of the tournament.