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Brazil 2 0 - Mexico
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90 Mexico cannot break down the Selecao defense! The Brazilians seem even more capable now then ever before during these 90 minutes. Perhaps its all due to the momentum and El Tri accepting their fate, but either way this has been an absolutely impressive display by the Canarinho.
The fourth official raises his board along the sidelines to indicate we will play a minimum of six added minutes in the second half.
An errant pass from the Mexican back line allows Neymar acres of space down the left flank. Neymar uses his right foot to poke a shot on goal that is kicked away by Memo Ochoa, however the ball deflects off his foot directly into the path of Liverpool's Roberto Firmino. Firmino then deposited it into the back of the net to all but seal their place in the quarterfinals!
GOAL! Brazil double their lead in the final moments!
El Tri are beginning to fling all of their men into the attack as the seek to draw level and force extra time. Thus far, though, the Selecao defense seem entirely capable of seeing this game out to advance into the next round of the tournament.
Tite makes his first substitution with just 10 minutes remaining and it is a clearly defensive minded decision. The Brazilian manager removes Paulinho from the match and replaces him with Manchester City's defensive midfielder Fernandinho.
Carlos Salcedo cuts down Neymar inside the Brazil half of the pitch in order to break up a counter attack. The El Tri defender is booked, much to his dismay, but this was an obvious tactical foul and easy booking for Gianluca Rocchi.
A fracas breaks out on the sidelines as Miguel Layun clearly stepped on Neymar's ankle. The Brazilian writhed around in agony for several minutes, but he will continue on in this match as will Layun who escapes the encounter with no booking.
A clearance out of the area by the Brazilian back line falls into the path of a sprinting Andres Guardado! The Mexican midfielder unleashes a rocket from distance, but the Brazilian defense is in position to block it away to keep Alisson's clean sheet for now.
Willian again speeds passed several Mexican defenders which pulls more to him, leaving Neymar open in the middle of the box. Neymar receives the pass, composes himself, and attempts to pass the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, but his shot takes a slight deflection sending it out for a Brazilian corner kick.
Willian crosses over Carlos Salcedo and in turn blazes right by the Mexican defender. The current Chelsea man then blasted a high drive with his right foot to force yet another save out of Memo Ochoa! At the very least Willian earned his side a corner with that excellent display of individual talent.
Mexico use their third substitution just 15 minutes into the second half, on comes Raul Jimenez for the bleach blonde Chicharito! Juan Carlos Osorio will be with the 11 players on the field until the end, provided we do not go to extra time.
Fagner swings in a cross from the right wing to pick out an unmarked Paulinho on the penalty spot! Paulinho sends a one-timed shot with his right foot on goal, but Guillermo Ochoa racks up another save diving to his left to parry it away.
Juan Carlos Osorio will utilize his second substitution of the game to bring on Jonathan Dos Santos for Edson Alvarez. This is clearly an offensive substitution and will likely mean that Mexico shift to a three back system instead of a four man back line.
Willian blazed into the area down the left flank and sizzled in a cross to the center of the box. Guillermo Ochoa flails at the ball, misses, allowing the ball to run unimpeded to the far post into the path of a sliding Neymar. The superstar uses his right foot to poke the ball into the back of the net to send Brazil up by a goal!
GOAL! Neymar scores a beautiful goal!
A Mexican counter attack ends with a beautiful curling shot by Jesus Gallardo that hardly misses the left post of Alisson's goal.
A short corner to Philippe Coutinho creates the best opportunity of the match as the El Tri back line falls asleep allowing the winger to dance into a dangerous position. Coutinho blasts a shot on target, but once again Guillermo Ochoa is there to make a huge save to punch it out for another Brazilian corner.
The second half is underway! The teams have switched ends and it will now be the Brazilians that attack from right to left. Tite elects to keep his original starting eleven on the field, while Juan Carlos Osorio decides to bring on Miguel Layun in place of the veteran Rafael Marquez.
El Tri bossed the early goings of this match with quick, slicing attacks built from the flanks through Carlos Vela and Hirving Lozano. They had several opportunities, failing to capitalize on any. Then, however, the Canarinho started to take control and peppered Guillermo Ochoa's goal with three shots on target. The keeper was up to the task though, beating away each effort. Mexico must look to restore that early dominance in order to relieve the pressure that is mounting upon their back line.
The whistle goes in Samara to end the first half! We head the break with Mexico and Brazil knotted at 0-0!
Mexico breaks out with a counter attack that catches Brazil out at the back! A pass played to the right wing for Carlos Vela forces the left back Filipe Luis to scythe down the winger causing Gianluca Rocchi to issue the second yellow card of the match.
Philippe Coutinho cuts in from the left flank to place the ball on his right foot for his patented curling shot. The Barcelona player rifles a low drive from distance that is immediately blocked away by Hugo Ayala.
Gabriel Jesus blasts a left footed shot on goal from close range that is pounded away by Guillermo Ochoa's palms! The rebound falls to Philippe Coutinho who manages to beat the keeper, however Hugo Ayala is in position to make the vital goal line clearance to keep this game scoreless!
Carlos Vela receives the ball at the edge of the area and decides to test Alsisson from distance! The left footed strike is completely slashed at by the Los Angeles FC forward as he misses the target both high and wide left.
Neymar slaloms into the box that helps him lose two defenders and finds himself one on one with Guillermo Ochoa! The Brazilian superstar powers a shot on target, but Memo makes himself as big as possible and somehow blocks the shot for his second save of the game.
Carlos Vela cuts in from the left wing, scans the box, and slides a pass into the middle of the area to a wide open Hector Herrera! Herrera pulls the ball back in order to dodge one defender and rifles a shot toward goal, however Casemiro back tracks to get in position for the key block.
Willian delivers the first Brazilian corner kick of the evening, but the technique is visibly lacking as it is easily cut out at the near post and thumped out of the box with a firm header.
Hirving Lozano uses his right foot to acrobatically cushion a long ball over the top which allows him to streak down the wing and look to send a pass into the area. The ensuing cross is placed at the back post for Chicharito Hernandez, but the Mexican striker is just a step off the pass and watches the ball as it rolls out for a goal kick.
El Tri have been outstanding thus far! There upfield pressure is beginning to force errors out of the Brazilian backline and defensive midfield. The Selecao rarely find the ball at their feet over the halfway line, let alone in the attacking third.
Carlos Vela delivers a corner kick to the top of the area that is redistributed to Chicharito Hernandez inside the six yard box via a headed pass! Chicharito goes for the ball and collides with Alisson as the whistle blows as it appears that the striker was offside when the pass was played.
Neymar hammers a shot from distance that knuckles through the air and makes Guillermo Ochoa job a bit more difficult. The keeper, however, manages to track the ball properly and executes a decisive double fisted punch to steer the ball out of the area.
Andres Guardado crosses the ball into the center of the area only to have it punched out by Alisson! The punch is mishit though and falls directly to Hirving Lozano on the far post, the youngster attempts to volley it home, but the shot is immediately blocked out for a corner kick.
Gianluca Rocchi blares his whistle and this Round of 16 game is underway in Samara!! El Tri attack from right to left in their traditional green tops and white shorts, while Brazil are dressed in their classic yellow and blue kits.
Brazil and Mexico have a long track record of facing off in competitions ranging from previous World Cups, Copa Americas, Confederations Cups, and CONCACAF Gold Cups, as well as a plethora of International Friendly matches. Brazil own the all-time record at 23-7-10 with a 3-1-0 record at the World Cup dating back to their first meeting in 1950. The most recent time World Cup match between these countries was in the 2014 tournament in Brazil when they played to a scoreless draw on Matchday 2 in Group A.
Mexico Bench: Jose Corona, Erick Gutierrez, Jonathan Dos Santos, Miguel Layun, Marco Fabian, Raul Jimenez, Giovani Dos Santos, Alfredo Talavera, Jesus Corona, Oribe Peralta, Javier Aquino, Hector Moreno
Brazil Bench: Pedro Geromel, Renato Augusto, Marcelo, Marquinhos, Danilo, Cassio, Fernandinho, Fred, Roberto Firmino, Taison, Ederson
Mexico (4-3-3): Guillermo Ochoa; Edson Alvarez, Hugo Ayala, Carlos Salcedo, Jesus Gallardo; Hector Herrera, Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado; Hirving Lozano, Chicharito Hernandez, Carlos Vela
Brazil (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Paulinho, Casemiro; Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus
The pressure on the Selecao is greater than ever with such a supremely talented squad. The Swiss fought the Brazilians for a full 90 minutes and earned a 1-1 draw, however that is when Neymar and company finally began to shed the taxing weight placed on them by their shirt. The Canarinho took the full three points after netting two stoppage time goals against Costa Rica and then went on to roll over a tough Serbian team with goals scored by veterans Paulinho and Thiago Silva. Now the Brazilians must keep the pressure of their country out of their minds because this El Tri team certainly has what it takes to shock the Selecao and make a deep run into this year's tournament.
El Tri began the tournament flying high as they stunned the reigning World Champions Germany by the score of 1-0 followed by a narrow 2-1 victory over South Korea. Their third game did not go as planned when the Mexicans were routed by the Swedish and nearly missed out on advancing, however South Korea's shocking upset of Die Mannschaft punched Mexico's ticket. The big news out of the Mexico camp over the last few days is that several of the El Tri players including Miguel Layun and Chicharito bleached their hair a bright blonde, possibly as a team bonding experience.
The Samara Arena hosts an absolutely mouthwatering Round of 16 fixture between the CONCACAF giants Mexico and the CONMEBOL greats Brazil. Stay tuned for our match preview as well as a breakdown of today's starting lineups!
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