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Mexico eliminated from World Cup with loss to Brazil

04 July 2018

MEXICO had hope, some genuine hope, more than just cautious optimism that they could get a long-awaited first victory over Brazil at a World Cup, that they could for the first time since 1986 they would advance to the "quinto partido" or the fifth match at world football's showpiece tournament. Brazil defeated Mexico 2-0.

However, Brazil's star man finally awoke from his slumber against Mexico with a match-winning display.

A devastated Miguel Layun of Mexico leaves the field after losing to Brazil in the round of 16.

Mexican soccer fans react after the soccer match, Zocalo Square, Mexico City, Mexico July 2, 2018.

As Mexico pressed for an equaliser Brazil's Alisson saved from Carlos Vela before Andres Guardado tried his luck from outside the area but Brazilian defenders got in the way before the shot could test the goalkeeper.

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Tom Marshall, a reporter for ESPN who covers the Mexican team, wrote on Twitter shortly after the match that Brazil, with its "elite players at elite clubs", was "simply too much" for El Tri.

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"In Neymar's defence he has been fouled more than any other player at this World Cup and he is regularly the target of rough treatment". The goals made Brazil the World Cup all-time scoring leader with 228 goals, surpassing Germany with 226.

Flaunting his flair and his finishing touch wasn't enough. Brazil leads Mexico 1-0. Osorio had vowed on Sunday that Mexico wouldn't stop attacking Brazil but he was also vary of the goal-scoring threats posed by Brazil.

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.

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But before setting up the second goal it looked like Neymar's game - or even his World Cup - could be over with 20 minutes to go. It turned out to be pure histrionics.

Brazil, which last won the World Cup in 2002, will now line up in its quarter-final match against the victor of today's second match between Belgium and Japan.

Neymar has scored six goals from 38 shots in World Cup finals.

Once Brazil took the lead, they dominated the play.

Despite calls to replace the goal-shy Jesus with Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, Tite sees no reason to do so given they haven't lost a competitive game which Jesus has started. When we do have the ball, we try to do what we know we do well. "It's obvious", Layun said. In a delayed reaction, Neymar made the most of Layun stepping on his ankle, rolling around with his hand covering his eyes.

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Inui's goal was a historic milestone for Japan , which had never led a World Cup match by more than a single goal. Japan (4-2-3-1): Kawashima; Sakai, Shoji, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Hasebe, Shibasaki; Haraguchi, Kagawa, Inui; Osako.

Neymar, who was given the lowest score by users of the BBC Player Rater, said the Brazilian players "have to learn to suffer".

Mexico eliminated from World Cup with loss to Brazil