Brazil Beats Mexico 2×0 to Reach 2018 World Cup Quarters
Jul 03 2018
"They stepped on me; that wasn't fair", Neymar said on Brazilian TV after the match.
Neymar found the back of the net and set up Roberto Firmino's late goal in Brazil's 2-0 win over Mexico in Monday's Round of 16 tie but his theatrics, which has been a regular feature in the ongoing Fifa World Cup, became the biggest talking point.
In the 51st minute, Neymar pushed the ball up the left side of the field, before making a sharp turn towards the center just before getting to the box. The 2-0 loss Monday was perhaps not quite so painful as some of the previous fourth-game defeats, but the knowledge that Brazil was simply better will only mitigate the hurt to some extent. It turned out to be pure histrionics.
Brazil advanced to a Friday quarterfinal in Kazan, Russia, against the victor of Monday's Belgium-Japan game.
But while the Mexicans lost on the pitch, they certainly won on social media.
Mexico made a change at halftime, replacing 39-year-old defender Rafael Marquez with Miguel Layun. Defending champion Germany arrived with 224 total.
"It is a shame for football, we wasted a lot of time because of one player", said Osorio.
Reaction: Neymar scared by a ghost? "I think this had an impact on our pace and style", Osorio said.
Clutch goals and must-win wins were needed for Brazil to even make it to the knockout stage after failing to beat Switzerland in their opening match.
Firstly, Layun was picked up by cameras actually lifting Neymar on the turf after he believed him to be feigning injury. Instead of Neymar, it's been Coutino who has been Brazil's leading man at this World Cup but his passes were being cut, his shots at goal being blocked or sailing wide. If he does, we should see more of the slick attacking play we expect from Brazil along the way. El Tri has always been respected as a team with technical players who play pretty football, but Brazil would've been happy to meet Mexico at this stage of the tournament. A video review reversed the decision to award a penalty kick and Neymar's frustrations a few minutes later led to a yellow card.
Firmino's tap-in brought Brazil's all-time World Cup goals tally to 228. Fresh among tiring legs, Firmino was able to evade the defense to get in the right place to score the second goal. When he finally made a decision to face the media after a match-winning performance on Monday, he was dressed to impress, if not to kill.