Neymar leads Brazil into seventh straight quarterfinal

Posted July 04, 2018

With Messi and Ronaldo having packed their bags, Neymar is the final superstar remaining the World Cup. Neymar was starting to showcase his talents but he was left writhing in pain after a tussle with second-half replacement Miguel Layun.

They were certainly tested here and Mexico looked risky but, thanks to Brazil's organisation at the back and willingness to absorb pressure, their opposition weren't even close to scoring. I don't know if they're showing off.

"I think it's a shame for football", Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio lamented afterwards, saying Neymar's antics had wasted precious time. Neymar has 11 goals and nine assists in his last 19 games for Brazil.

Neymar then set up the second in the closing minutes by beating the Mexico offside trap and flicking the ball goalwards before substitute Roberto Firmino tapped home from close range.

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"This is a game of men that is played with intensity and not with so much clowning".

He has been fouled 23 times so far in the tournament, more than Uruguayan duo Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani combined. It's rare to see a manager take his assistant to press conferences with him but Tite would rather be effective than traditional. It's not a sin, that's what the coach says you should do.

"I don't care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude".

"He is one of the world's greatest players but when he rolls about on the floor, I just don't get it".

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And now, Brazil must wait for its next opponent. Going past the Brazilian full-back was never a problem for Vela. Paulinho, who makes those surging runs through the centre, was forced to be in line with Casemiro, who sits ahead of the defence. Apart from Neymar's shot which Guillermo Ochoa palmed away, it was all Mexico. But then Brazil scored just six minutes into the second half and Mexico didn't have an answer. Philippe Coutinho was floating around the midfield, finding space and passes easily, Neymar's trickery on the left started causing problems for Mexico, Gabriel Jesus was getting into good positions and on the right, Willian, the most improved player since the first game, became a headache for their opponents.

Whatever your take, the Neymar show will roll into Kazan on Friday looking its slickest for some months.

Focused and fearless, Mexico continued to trouble Brazil in the opening stages, with Fagner in particular struggling massively to cope with the threat down his side.

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