Brilliant Neymar has helped Brazil win its tough battle in the 2018 World Cup last 16 against Mexico as the Selecao nears its dream of a historic sixth title in the prestigious tournament.
The Brazilians beat Mexico 2-0 in Samara, Russia, on Monday with a goal and an assist by Neymar, both in the second half.
Brazil was on low key in the first half of a match that saw the Mexicans pegging the five-time World Cup champions back and creating several half chances.
However, Neymar started a brilliant move in Mexico’s box where he finished a fine cross from Willian into the net. The world’s most expensive player then set up another goal in the 88th minute, crossings for Firmino who tapped the ball home.
Brazil’s opponent in the quarter-finals, the seventh successive for the South Americans in the World Cup, would be known later on Monday when Belgium and Japan face each other in the other game of the round of 16.
Mexico, however, extended its drought of reaching the round of eight as the last time it went through was on their home soil in 1986.
The Brazilians hope their fine run in the current World Cup could pay for their miserable performance in 2014 when they were knocked out of the title race with a historic 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semifinals.
The 2018 World Cup’s round of 16 ends on Tuesday as Sweden faces Switzerland and England takes on Colombia. The tournament started on June 16 and will close on July 15 with the final in Moscow.