Neymar shines as Brazil beat Mexico to reach World Cup quarters

Russia players

Neymar was not the only player who looked sharp for Brazil in the win that sent Mexico packing from the round of 16 at the World Cup for the seventh-straight time. In the end, Mexico leaves Russian Federation with consecutive scoreless matches.

The rapid recovery seemed miraculous for a player who missed the last three months of the season with a broken right foot.

In the scorching conditions in Samara, the Mexicans, who started with 39-year-old Rafael Marquez, made a frenetic start but were unable to convert their chances.

Neymar turned in his best performance of the tournament so far against Mexico on Monday, scoring one goal and setting up the other in their 2-0 win.

But they couldn't find a way to stop Neymar, who has scored two goals in four matches in Russian Federation.

The 2018 World Cup has been one of huge shocks.

Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio was critical of Neymar in his post-match media conference, and Layun believes it is a shame such a talented player allows less favourable aspects to creep into his game.

With that, Mexico exits the World Cup at an all too familiar stage and will have to wait another four years until Qatar 2022 to have another shot at World Cup glory.

Serbia to face the might of Brazil in Group E match
But Paulinho , the player that Tite calls his "secret weapon", lived up to his name by scoring the first goal at Spartak Stadium . Brazil extend their FIFA World Cup group stage unbeaten streak to 15 games on their way to topping Group E.

Brazil awoke from their early slumber late in the opening half, but Neymar's angled drive was blocked by Guillermo Ochoa and striker Gabriel Jesus saw the 'keeper block his drive after a smart one-two.

Once Brazil took the lead, they dominated the play.

The star forward opened the scoring early in the second half at the Samara Arena and it was his shot being saved which led to Roberto Firmino's 88th-minute clincher.

Reaction: Neymar scared by a ghost?

"This should be a sport of ability, of determination, a game of men, not of so much clowning". We are fed up of it", and Frenchman Eric Cantona, in one thinly veiled reference, saying "No more cheating. Alongside those rapid sorties came more considered touches and the back-heel with which he released Willian before the opening goal, a constructive move rather than an extravagance, was indicative of a player thinking about consequences rather than simply revelling in actions.

Neymar was asked about Osorio's comments but it was the moment Tite took charge.

With Germany, Argentina and Spain among the contenders already eliminated, Brazil's hopes of a sixth World Cup title have received an extra lift.

"Us attackers have to score the goals because we know that we are very strong at the back".

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