Neymar stars as Brazil prolong Mexico curse and reach quarterfinals

Monday's 2-0 win in the last-16 wasn't the most consistent show by Brazil at this World Cup, but it was enough to get past a Mexico team that never posed a serious threat. Tite's men successfully put up with the initial pressure and finished off the job in the second half, as Mexico lost in the last-16 for the seventh World Cup in a row.

The victory that guaranteed a quarterfinal berth had Neymar's signature all over it, including a goal and an assist.

It was also good to finally see an outstanding game by Willian, while Roberto Firmino showed he can challenge Gabriel Jesus for a place in the starting XI.


The team knows how to learn from suffering. The first half was far from ideal, but slowly and surely, Brazil took control of the game and built a well-deserved victory in which Allison was only required once.


The attitude the team had at the beginning, especially when playing the ball, as they failed to find a way past Juan Carlos Osorio's men. On the right flank, Fagner had trouble controlling Carlos Vela during the first half.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- If Brazil had a slow start to the second half in the 1-1 group draw against Switzerland (the only game they haven't won so far), this time the team saved their best for the second 45 minutes.

The defence remains their strongest point, but Tite is finding the best attacking options. Willian improved, Neymar shined and Firmino has given the coach a headache over who to pick as centre-forward in the quarterfinals.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 7 -- Hardly any work to do, needed to make just one save and was safe when dealing with crosses.

DF Fagner, 7 -- While he found Vela hard to control early in the game, he improved and ended up being one of the best players on the pitch.

DF Thiago Silva, 7 -- What else can be said about him at this World Cup? He anticipated what Mexico had planned in attack and broke their moves down time and time and again, playing a captain's role.

DF Miranda, 6 -- Partnered well with Thiago Silva, but sometimes took too many risks when playing the ball.

DF Filipe Luis, 6 -- Less of an attacking option than Marcelo, but really safe in defence.

MF Casemiro, 6 -- His decision-making was weak in the first half and he gave away the ball too often. Looked better in the second half, but the yellow card he received means he is out of the quarterfinals.

MF Philippe Coutinho, 5 -- Completely lost in the first half. Despite improving after the break, it was still his worst performance of the tournament so far.

MF Paulinho, 6 -- Good game both in defence and launching attacks. He looked tired in the second half.

FW Willian, 8 -- Named as Chelsea Players' Player of the Season last term, he finally turned up at the World Cup. The Mexican defence never figured out how to stop him.

FW Neymar, 9 -- Even during a difficult first half for Brazil, he was able to set up their best chances. After half time, it turned into The Neymar Show. But apart from displaying his usual skills, he looked determined to win the game. He scored the first goal and assisted Firmino for the second.

FW Gabriel Jesus, 6 -- He may have played his best game as centre-forward, but despite having two good chances, he did not score and has Firmino challenging him for a starting position.


MF Fernandinho, 6 -- Was a great help to Casemiro when it came to protecting the defence, but he also started the counterattack that ended with Brazil's second goal.

FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- He is making the best of his playing time, finding the net again. Tite is surely considering his options.

DF Marquinhos, N/R -- On for the final few minutes.