2-0! Brazil See Off Mexico FIFA World Cup

by Samuel Abasi Posted on July 2nd, 2018

Brazil will face either Belgium or Japan in the quarterfinals on Friday July 6th in Kazan, after beating Mexico 2-0 on Monday in the Round of 16 at the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia.  The Belgium vs Japan game  is scheduled to be played later on Monday in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don.

Mexico and Brazil were tied 0-0 at halftime.

Neymar opened the scoring in the 51st minute and provided the last pass for Firmino’s clincher in the 88th. Firmino tapped in from close range minutes after coming on as a replacement for Coutinho.

For the opener, Neymar slid toward goal and tapped in Willian’s low cross from the left.

The goals made Brazil the World Cup all-time scoring leader with 228 goals, surpassing Germany with 226.

Brazil have now kept 19 clean sheets in 25 matches under head coach Tite.

“Someone had mentioned we are playing more like a club team than a national team and I took that as a compliment, and I told my team about that.” Brazil head coach Tite’s post-match thoughts.

This is their third straight 2-0 win in Russia.

With Germany and Spain having fallen already, the South Americans’ status as favourites will have been strengthened by this showing.

Forward Neymar was named the man of the match. The 26-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker, who broke out in tears after scoring his first goal of the tournament in Brazil’s 2-0 Costa Rica win, was all smiles after tapping in Willian’s powerful cross in the 51st minute. He now has six goals at the World Cup and 57 in 89 total appearances.

“I’m here to win. I hope I can improve always. I knew that I was going to need some pace to get back to my normal tempo. I feel much better. I’m happy for the whole team and I congratulate my whole team and we’re always improving.” Man of the match, Neymar said after the game.

“He’s a great goalkeeper [Ochoa]. Everybody knows about Ochoa’s qualities. Congratulations to him on a great match. I don’t give up. I’m a Brazilian. It was a goal made of perception of will and being connected to the game and pushing the ball forward.” Neymar added speaking of ochoa.

Mexico team has been knocked out from the round of 16 every World Cup since 1994.

“I would like to thank our fans and apologise that we didn’t accomplish our goal and I’m sorry about that. They are the definitely the best fans in the world.” Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said at the post game press conference.

“Being able to play at such a level with a team like Brazil, it shows Mexico is a good team. We just didn’t have that extra quality they had in front of goal. We were able to play a balanced game and it says a lot about us and our style. We need to keep developing and we hope our players will come and play in Europe so they can play every weekend against the best clubs in the world, and then our national team will improve.”  Osorio added.

“Willian always delivers beautifully. Willian has a lot of work to do tactically speaking—he does a lot. In the second half, he shined technically. He’s been delivering what we like.” Brazil assistant coach Sylvinho on Willian.

In the preliminary rounds, the Brazilian national football team started poorly in Group E, but after drawing 1-1 against Switzerland in their first game, they  later claimed a 2-0 win over both Costa Rica and Serbia. The Mexican squad became popular with their crushing 1-0 victory over Germany followed by a stunning 3-0 defeat to Sweden.

A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.

The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups proceeded to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.

Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.  The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The  11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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