Final, 2-0 Brazil: The referee blows the final whistle. Brazil advances to the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals, while Mexico prepares to head home.
A seventh-consecutive World Cup quarterfinal appearance beckons for Brazil, thanks to its impressive second-half on which Neymar and Roberto Firmino scored the goals.
Mexico started brightly but faded within minutes of the restart, with Rafa Marquez’s and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s fitness issues playing a role in unbalancing Mexico’s play in the second half.
Mexico also will be disappointed not to have created more scoring chances or testing Brazil goalkeeper Alisson for the first hour of the game. However, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa should take a bow following another shining 90 minutes in Russia.
Brazil deserves credit for managing its way through Mexico’s period of ascendancy before seizing control of the game, making the most of its scoring chances and ultimately killing off the contest with the second goal.
Neymar deservedly claims Man of the Match honors for massive influence on the outcome of the game.
Brazil maintains its World Cup big-brother status over Mexico.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s World Cup Round of 16 hex will endure for at least another four years.
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90th minute +2, 2-0 Brazil: The referee shows Mexico’s Andres Guardado a yellow card.
90th minute +1, 2-0 Brazil: Brazil makes its final substitution, replacing Willian with Marquinhos.
90th minute, 2-0 Brazil: The fourth official indicates there will be six minutes of injury time in the second half.
88th minute, 2-0 Brazil: Roberto Firmino scores just two minutes after entering the game.
Firmino’s goal came via counter-attack. Fernandinho slipped a pass forward to Neymar, who darts forward and pokes a shot on goal. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa kicked Neymar’s pass straight into the path of the grateful Firmino.
Juan Carlos Osorio’s reaction sums up Mexico’s impending World Cup exit.
86th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Roberto Firmino replaces Philippe Coutinho in Brazil’s second substitution.
80th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Fernandinho replaces Paulinho, as Brazil makes its first substitution.
77th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo receives a yellow card for tackling Neymar from behind.
72nd minute, 1-0 Brazil: Neymar is on the ground rolling around in pain.
Mexico’s Miguel Layun stepped on Neymar’s ankle.
The referee seemed to have missed it, but the video assistant referee might take a look at it.
Many accuse Neymar of play-acting, but pundit Graham Ruthven and opta add important context.
68th minute, 1-0 Brazil: A flowing Brazil counter-attack ends with a Mexico defender deflecting Neymar’s shot just wide of the goal.
63rd minute, 1-0 Brazil: Willian beats Carlos Salcedo on the dribble and shoots a hard shot on goal. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is in the right place again to save Willian’s shot.
61st minute, 1-0 Brazil: Mexico creates a scoring chance on the counter-attack, as Carlos Vela curls a left-footed shot on goal. Brazil’s goalkeeper Alisson parries it over the crossbar.
60th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Mexico makes its third and final substitution, replacing striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez with Raul Jimenez.
Chicharito registered only one shot on goal at World Cup 2018, according to BBC “Match of the Day.”
60th minute, 1-0 Brazil: The referee shows Brazil’s Casemiro a yellow card.
59th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Brazil’s Paulinho fires a shot toward Mexico’s near post, but Guillermo Ochoa parries it away.
55th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Mexico makes another substitution. Jonathan dos Santos enters. Edson Alvarez exits.
55th minute, 1-0 Brazil: The referee shows Mexico’s Hector Herrera a yellow card for dragging back Willian from behind.
54th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Mexico surges forward in search of a response but Brazil’s defense repels El Tri’s immediate reaction to Neymar’s goal.
51st minute, 1-0 Brazil: Neymar gives Brazil the lead.
The star forward backheels a pass to Willian, who dribbles into Mexico’s penalty area and delivers the return pass to the far post, where Neymar arrives to poke it home.
Neymar celebrates his sixth World Cup goal, per Opta.
Neymar’s goal also puts Brazil back on top of the World Cup top team scorers list, and that won’t change before 2022.
“Neymar has scored six goals from 38 shots in World Cup tournaments – it took Lionel Messi 67 shots and Cristiano Ronaldo 74 shots to reach this goal tally at the World Cup,” Opta writes.
48th minute, 0-0: Philippe Coutinho cuts inside Mexico’s penalty area and shots powerfully toward the near post, but the well-positioned goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa denies him with another strong save.
46th minute, 0-0: The second half of Brazil vs. Mexico is underway.
Mexico made one substitution at halftime, replacing Rafa Marquez with Miguel Layun.
Halftime, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half.
Neither side can claim to have controlled the opening period. Mexico started the game better but failed to translate its early advantage into clear-cut scoring chances. Brazil began at a slower pace then Mexico but gradually grew into the contest.
The teams appear to be equal in technical and tactical departments. How the players cope mentally with the ever-increasing tension and physically with the searing heat likely will determine which side advances to the quarterfinals.
43rd minute, 0-0: The referee shows Brazil’s Felipe Luis a yellow card for his hard tackle on Mexico’s Carlos Vela.
38th minute, 0-0: The referee issues Mexico’s Edson Alvarez a yellow card for his heavy challenge on Neymar.
33rd minute, 0-0: Gabriel Jesus dribbles around Mexico’s back line and fires a left-footed shot on goal, but Guillermo Ochoa denies him with an other save. Nevertheless, Brazil continues to surge.
27th minute, 0-0: Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho have back-to-back attempts at Mexico’s goal, but a defender clears the first and the second flies over the target.
25th minute, 0-0: Neymar dribbles deep into Mexico’s penalty area and shoots on goal, but Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa cuts down the angle well and saves the Brazilian’s effort.
22nd minute, 0-0: Mexico continues to find gaps in Brazil’s defense, with Carlos Vela sliding a pass to Hector Herrera inside Brazil’s penalty area in this latest instance. Brazil’s defense blocked Herrera’s shot, but El Tri remains the more aggressive side.
14th minute, 0-0: Mexico’s high pressure continues to make life difficult for Brazil, which is struggling to establish a tempo to its play or to even maintain possession in dangerous parts of the field.
Ninth minute 0-0: Mexico has been every bit as good as Brazil so far, surprising many who expected the South Americans to dominate possession and territory from the opening whistle.
Fifth minute, 0-0: Brazil’s Neymar shoots on goal from 25 yards out, but Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa punches it clear.
Second minute, 0-0: Brazil goalkeeper Alisson fails to punch Andres Guardado’s cross clear of his penalty area. The ball falls to Mexico’s Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, whose shot is blocked out for a corner kick. It’s good early attacking menace from Mexico.
Kickoff: Brazil vs. Mexico is underway.
Pregame: Here are the starting lineups:
9:30 a.m. ET: Mexico’s soccer team faces its ultimate test en route to its own promised land.
Brazil and Mexico will face off Monday in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 game. Mexico has suffered elimination in the round of 16 at the last six World Cups, and El Tri is determined to end its hex and reach at least the quarterfinals this summer.
Brazil always is a contender to win the World Cup, and the South American soccer power is expected to dispatch Mexico during its road to glory.
The teams have played each other four times at previous World Cups. Brazil won their first three meetings — 4-0 in 1950, 5-0 in 1954, 2-0 in 1962 — but Mexico earned an impressive goal-less draw in World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
Brazil vs. Mexico will kick off at 10 a.m. Join us right here for all the action from Samara.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Groothuis/USA TODAY Sports Images