A file photo of Brazil's Neymar. Photograph:( Reuters )
Brazil roared in the World Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over Mexico on Monday (July 2) as Neymar shone with a goal and an assist that dumped the central Americans out at the last 16 stage for the seventh straight occasion.
The PSG forward slid home in the second half and then teed up Roberto Firmino late on as the five-times champions beat an otherwise stubborn Mexico, whose World Cup began with such promise with a victory over champions Germany, but ended in familiar fashion in the first knockout round.
It was the seventh World Cup running that Brazil have reached the last eight, where they will now face Belgium or Japan, while Mexico have not made it to that stage since they hosted the tournament in 1986.
It's a heartbreak for Mexico as this is the seventh World Cup when they have been dumped out in the second round.
Mexico had applied the same game plan which they used against Joachim Loew side in the first Group match when they outclassed defending champions Germany.
Juan Osorio's side dominated the game and a special mention to their goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who palmed away many Brazilian attempts.
Key stats:— FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) July 2, 2018
? #MEX have been knocked out in the Round of 16 at each of the last seven World Cups
? #BRA have now kept 19 clean sheets in 25 international matches under their current head coach Tite#BRAMEX pic.twitter.com/bT3HVglR7h
Also, their star player Hirving Lozano, who created several chances but failed. Now, it's Tite's side which has progressed in the tournament and will play either Belgium or Japan.
Mexico, who enjoyed an enviable recent record against Brazil having won seven of their previous 15 matches against them, were a threat on the counter in the first half but then faded without ever really being put to the sword.
Brazil had to wait until the 88th minute to put the match to bed as Neymar was the architect, crossing for Firmino to tap the ball home.
They will have to do without defensive midfielder Casemiro in the quarters, however, after he picked up his second booking.