Neymar leads Brazil past Mexico
Moscow [Russia], July 2: Neymar’s strike and a late second goal from Roberto Firmino on Monday helped Brazil edge past Mexico 2-0 to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the ongoing 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup.
While Brazil didn’t look in full form in the round of 16 match at the Cosmos Arena, the tournament favourites progressed with relative comfort in the end, avoiding the early exit that has already befallen the likes of Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Argentina.
Despite being dominant in the opening 20 minutes, Mexico was unable to make their superiority count and eventually allowed Brazil to take over the momentum.
After Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa denied goals to Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho, Neymar finally made the breakthrough at the back post as he netted his second goal of the tournament shortly after half-time in the 51st minute.
Brazil soon gave Mexico a second blow when Firmino, who came in as the replacement for Coutinho, added the finishing touch after Neymar had led a counter-attack in the extra time.
The five-time world champions will next take on either Belgium or Japan in the quarter-finals.
Brazil has become the fifth side to qualify for quarter-finals after France, Uruguay, Russia and Croatia.