Neymar scored his sixth FIFA World Cup™ goal, before substitute Roberto Firmino added one late on, to lift Brazil past Mexico 2-0 to advance into the quarter-finals at Russia 2018.
The first 20 minutes of the match started with El Tri pressuring the South Americans’ backline, but eventually Tite’s side were able to grow into the game, ultimately generating more goalscoring opportunities and looking the likelier to break the deadlock.
It took until after the break, though, and once the second half commenced, it wasn’t long until Neymar was wheeling away in celebration. He slid in to finish from close range after Willian sent in a dangerous, low cross on 51 minutes. Brazil continued to create scoring chances and, with full-time closing in fast, Firmino tapped in at the back post as Neymar turning provider to seal victory.
Mexico were much more aggressive in the first 15 minutes of the match, but Brazil were prepared for that. They kept their composure and were able to control large spells of the match, although possession stats won’t necessarily reflect that. The individual talent of A Seleção was also a key factor in them emerging as the more effective attacking side. Tite’s team are proving they can be solid at both ends.
Mexico fought bravely against Brazil, but in the end they deservedly lost against a better team. El Tri played a risky strategy in the first half, pressuring the South Americans very aggressively and making them suffer every time they had the ball. The idea was to score quickly and then manage the rhythm of the game. But that didn’t happen and the team tired. After they conceded the goal, while they still kept on fighting, they never seemed to be in a position to equalise, even with Guillermo Ochoa denying the Brazilians a second goal until the final stages.