Brazil ace Neymar hits back at Mexico tactics: It's unfair!

Neymar scored one goal and played a key role in the second as Brazil edged out Mexico in Samara to reach the World Cup quarter-finals for a seventh consecutive time. "I think it's more an attempt to undermine me than anything else".

While Layun didn't receive a caution for his action, he clearly stepped on Neymar and enabled a stoppage that halted some of Mexico's momentum.

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. "I congratulate them on their efforts and we are improving all the time".

"Ultimately, I think that is what's important".

The average positions often show the striker at the top of a diamond midfield, and this can be seen from the Mexico game, with Jesus (9) as deep as Philippe Coutinho (11), with Neymar (10) the furthest forward.

After the game, Osorio pointed the finger at Neymar for setting a poor example with his "acting", but Tite insisted his man was the victim on this occasion. "I don't much care for criticism, not even for praise, because this can influence in a way the athlete's attitude".

Roberto Firmino added the second in an 88th-minute counter-attack when Guillermo Ochoa could only direct Neymar's shot into his path. "Too many interventions from the referee". I saw what happened. It's not a sin, that's what the coach says you should do.

"He is one of the world's greatest players but when he rolls about on the floor, I just don't get it".

Minutes after the restart Brazil took the lead in exquisite fashion with Neymar starting and ending the move. Credit must also be given to Tite, who made sure that the team's defence was sorted before the tournament. Going past the Brazilian full-back was never a problem for Vela. Unfortunately, because of that loss, they'll now have to face Brazil, who are starting to look like the World Cup favorites as of late.

But an outstanding piece of skill by Neymar down the left midway through the first half left Alvarez for dead and galvanised a Brazil side who then took charge. 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.

Mexico impressed everyone by defeating defending champions Germany and then South Korea, but their performance dropped off slightly against Sweden when they lost 3-0 so they will be looking to bounce back from that.

  • Steve Townsend