Neymar shrugs off ‘acting’ criticism after win over Mexico

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In the match's closing stages they rallied once more, but Brazil defended stoically before doubling their lead on the break through a Roberto Firmino tap-in after Neymar's effort was diverted by the toe of Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Goalkeeper Alisson has seen just one goal slip past him so far in Russian Federation, but Willian points to their all-round strength rather than a negative attitude as the principal explanation. It is the truest thing he could have said and, you suspect, something of which he may yet remind his prodigy before the next stage of his quest for the World Cup trophy he craves.

In the latest, he dubbed a brand of luggage on wheels Neymar because "you barely touch it and it turns round and round for hours".

Neymar scored one goal and created another as his increasingly impressive Brazil side overpowered the Mexicans 2-0 in sweltering conditions. "How we use him is very important in a tournament like this, when we have very little time to recover between games". Hirving Lozano's half-volley was well blocked by Miranda, while at the other end, Ochoa was equal to Neymar's powerful drive from just outside the penalty area.

"But the attacks on him by the foreign media and foreign fans frightens me". Just six minutes after the start of the play, Brazil took the lead.

Buoyed by that sorely-needed injection of dynamism, Tite's men then carved out two quick-fire chances.

Jesus went close again in the 33rd minute, finding space in a crowded area and drilling in a left-footed strike that Ochoa palmed away.

They were certainly tested here and Mexico looked unsafe but, thanks to Brazil's organisation at the back and willingness to absorb pressure, their opposition weren't even close to scoring.

And their positive approach was rewarded in the 51st minute as Neymar and Willian combined to devastating effect.

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So we deserved to be eliminated. "We didn't deserve to win the title again and we didn't deserve to progress to the round of 16". The German players trudged off goalless at halftime, with frowns on faces and whistles ringing out from the terraces.

The Paris-Saint Germain forward reacted dramatically, writhing around on the turf, before receiving treatment and returning to the fray. He saved from Phillippe Coutinho, from Paulinho, from Willian.

After their slow start it was ultimately no more than the Selecao deserved, as their bid for a sixth world title marches on.

In their last World Cup match against the five-time world champions, four years ago in Brazil, Mexico had held the hosts to a goalless draw. Brazil has reached that stage at every World Cup since 1994.

Just like they did with their superbly-worked opening goal.

Mexico's defender Edson Alvarez (R) fouls Brazil's forward Neymar during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 2, 2018.

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.

Neymar has his team moving farther than Argentina and Portugal, and he accomplished a feat that has eluded both Messi and Ronaldo thus far in their global careers - scoring in the knockout stage of the World Cup. He also extended his platform to show the world he is as good - or better - than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

- Neymar has been involved in 20 goals in his last 19 games in all competitions for Brazil, scoring 11 and assisting nine.

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