Mexico can't match quality, depth of Brazil

FIFA World Cup 2018: Neymar has returned to a very high level, says Brazil coach Tite ahead of Mexico clash

Brazil progress through to the World Cup quarter-finals as Neymar and Roberto Firmono net in the second half to secure a 2-0 win over Mexico in Samara.

Neymar broke through Mexico's stern resistance by setting up the opener when his back-heel released Willian. A toe-poked attempt to beat Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 88th minute was diverted into the path of Robert Firmino, who scored with a tap-in just like Neymar did.

But it could have been a different story for Juan Carlos Osorio's side, who stunned Germany 1-0 in their opening game before moving to the brink of qualification with a 2-1 victory over South Korea. It turned out to be pure histrionics. Neymar was starting to showcase his talents but he was left writhing in pain after a tussle with second-half replacement Miguel Layun. But not before trying a stamp on Layun himself.

After a stunning win over Mexico, Brazil secured a berth in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Monday.

But while the Mexicans lost on the pitch, they certainly won on social media.

It was a choking blow for Mexico, who had been the better side for the opening half an hour, but it was not the manner of defeat but Neymar's habit of constantly hitting the deck that most irked the Mexico coach.

"We are always thought as an offensive team, but we have an incredible defense", exclaimed Neymar after the game, referring to the club's third clean sheet.

The Manchester City forward then saw another effort saved after moving past two Mexico defenders and before the first half had come to a close, Neymar had drilled a 30-yard free kick marginally off target.

He was the most-targeted player in the group stage of the tournament (17 fouls drawn), including a historic 10 fouls suffered against Switzerland.

And Neymar, said Tite, is more than ready following his return from a lengthy injury lay-off shortly before the tournament. If he does, we should see more of the slick attacking play we expect from Brazil along the way. "He is a magnificent player", said Shearer, who is working in Russian Federation for Britain's BBC.

"We played toe-to-toe against a team like Brazil and that speaks very well of Mexico's posture and attitude", Osorio said in his news conference after the game.

Against Mexico, Neymar burst into life after Brazil weathered early pressure from opponents determined to end a 32-year wait to reach the quarter-finals.

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