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Brazil beats Mexico 2-0

Brazil stormed into the World Cup quarterfinals with its third straight shutout victory on Monday, picking apart Mexico, 2-0, on goals by Neymar and Roberto Firmino.

The defeat, and the stage for it, will be sadly familiar for Mexico. It departs the tournament in its first knockout-round game for the seventh straight World Cup — a stunning run of bad losses, bad matchups and just plain bad luck.

It can have no complaints about its loss to Brazil, though; the Brazilians were the better team, and looked fresher even at the end. Neymar opened the scoring in the 51st minute, sliding in to tap home a ball served in precisely by Willian.

“Brazil are a great team, they’re the best team in the world,” Mexico’s coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, had said on the eve of the game. The Brazilians showed him why.

The substitute Roberto Firmino added the clincher in the 88th minute on a carbon copy goal: this time it was Neymar who burst in on the left, and Firmino who snuck into the goalmouth to turn the ball home.

Brazil advanced to a Friday quarterfinal in Kazan against the winner of Monday’s Belgium-Japan game.

Brazil’s victory was its third straight 2-0 win since opening the tournament with a disappointing 1-1 tie against Switzerland. But Costa Rica, Serbia and now Mexico have fallen before the Brazilians in order, and with Neymar scoring and Philippe Coutinho creating and a back four allowing almost nothing, the five-time World Cup champions will be a tough out now.

Neymar (51′)
Roberto Firmino (88′)

SOURCE: nytimes

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