Match Report: Neymar shines as Brazil progress

A spell midway through the first half was all it took for Brazil to get past Mexico and progress into the quarter finals.

Neymar linked up with Willian in a neat build up play to give the Seleção a 1-0 lead as Neymar finished off a low Willian cross, which came on the 51st minute.

A second goal to Brazil in the dying minutes confirmed the win when  Roberto Firminho scored from close range off a Neymar cross.

However, it was a slow start by Brazil as they were under an attacking siege from Mexico in the opening 25 minutes, who often caught their defence napping as they played on the counter and with speed. A lack of finishing meant   they couldn’t find the back of the net or force Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson into any forceful saves.

Brazil clicked into gear on the  25th minute, when  Neymar took on  Edson  Alvarez and had his shot saved by Mexican goal keeper Guillermo Ochoa.

It was the spark that Brazil needed as they  looked the far more threatening side and looked the first to use their attacking momentum to break the deadlock, but Ochoa guarded his goal well as he denied any trouble as both sides went into the main break deadlocked at 0-0 despite both teams having chances.

Ochoa had hardly anytime to settle in after the main break as he was forced into another save this time palming away a  Philippe Coutinho  shot two minutes after the restart.

Mexico ventured forward soon after off a counter attack  but  an Andres Guardado shot from distance went wide of the goal.

Moments later, the deadlock was broken as Neymar back heeled a pass to Willian, who then crossed it back to Neymar who then  slotted the ball to the  back of the net.

A Carlos Vela shot meant there was still fire in Mexico’s belly forcing   Alisson into to a terrific save for the first time since the opening minutes of the match on the 61st minute.

Ochoa who had been outstanding throughout the day made two more fantastic saves off a Paulinho and Willian strike midway through the second half.

However, any fire in the Mexico’s belly was soon lost as Neymar was in the action again  this time setting up  Firminho who then knocked the ball into the back of the net, to put the result to bed.


Fraser Stewart is the creator and journalist at ‘Behind The White’ Lines blog