Brazil came out of a tense Last 16 fixture against a strong Mexico side with a 2-0 win. Brazilian talisman Neymar had a hand in both goals, scoring the first and assisting the second. Mexico were one of the bright sparks of the group stages but ultimately went out to a dominant Brazil side.
Who else but Neymar?
Mexico started as the better side, looking to threaten Brazil at every opportunity. Mexico failed to ever see that threat through and eventually let Brazil get into the game. After Mexico’s early dominance, Brazil began to impose themselves on the opposition. Both teams had an equal share of possession in the first half as the match went into the break finely poised.
As soon as the second half started, only one team looked to be in the match. Brazil took control of the match 6 minutes after the restart. A good run by Willian created room on the left hand side of the pitch. Willian then drilled a pass across goal, which Neymar got on the end of to make it 1-0. Neymar’s goal ensured Brazil overtook Germany as the all-time top scorers in World Cup finals history.
Neymar helped his side into another Quarter Finals. In the 88th minute, he found himself matched up against the keeper and attempted to poke the ball past Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa. His shot was saved and fell straight into the path of substitute Roberto Firmino who converted the opportunity to give Brazil a comfortable 2-0 lead. Mexico attempted to create something in the final few minutes of the match but looked tired and out of energy. In this tournament, Mexico will be most remembered as the side which beat defending champions Germany 1-0 in their opening group game.
Man of the Match
Not many times is the best player the one on the losing side. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa put in a phenomenal effort in Mexico’s Last 16 game against Brazil. If it weren’t for the Mexican keeper, the score could have been even higher. It was thanks to Ochoa that Mexico were still in contention late into the match. He made his debut for Mexico aged 20. Now 32, it remains to be seen whether he’ll get another chance to represent his country at the World Cup.