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Neymar stars as Brazil prove too much for gallant Mexico

Neymar stars as Brazil prove too much for gallant Mexico

The Brazil superstar's form and perceived penchant for theatrics have been roundly criticised at this tournament, including by Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio after their match. Neymar scored the victor and Roberto Firmino put it away near the buzzer, ending a tournament for El Tri that started perfectly and ended horribly.

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The match was put beyond doubt in the 88th minute when Robert Firmino poked the ball home after he was setup by Neymar.

Willian of Brazil collides with Hirving Lozano of Mexico during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Brazil and Mexico at Samara Arena on July 2, 2018 in Samara, Russia.

The Mexico substitute did appear to make contact with Neymar's leg as he retrieved the ball on the sideline, but the incident hardly seemed worthy of the histrionics that followed, and referee Gianluca Rocchi was not convinced to brandish a card. Brazil has reached that stage at every World Cup since 1994. "I think this had an impact on our pace and style". There is no doubting his ability, we saw a backheel, a finish and setting up of the second goal but it is pathetic when he is rolling around pretending to be in agony. If Neymar and rising hero Philippe Coutinho are to advance, they'll have to take on a tough Mexican squad with some notable names of their own.

Paulinho should have doubled that advantage in the 59th minute, but Ochoa was once again equal to his whipped strike from 12 yards, while the over-worked goalkeeper also tipped over Willian's powerful effort four minutes later. Neymar smiled and was about to start his riposte when Tite interjected.

While he was still able to showcase his individual skills at the Camp Nou, he had excellent chemistry with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, and the trio dovetailed well together because they played to each other's strengths and shared responsibility between them. You have to leave that aside and wish him the best like always.

"It was unfair. The ball was not in play and we were off the pitch", he signalled.

Shocks, mishaps and curiosities have arguably defined this World Cup so far but the tournament needs Neymar.

Neymar's pain tolerance has been criticized and questioned at times, but nobody has taken more bruising in Russian Federation than he has. "The accomplishments of one player are never more important than the entire team". I am Brazilian, my perseverance paid in the end.

"I didn't see a Brazilian national team that imposed the quality it has", said Miguel Layun after the game.


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