Brazil vs. Mexico: Final score 2-0, Neymar the star again

Clive Mason

Surprise, Mexico wasn't good enough to deal with Neymar. He scored one goal and assisted on the other to guide Brazil to victory.

Brazil looks to be through to the semifinal of the Confederations Cup, and Mexico looks to be in a lot of trouble. The fate of either team can't be sealed until the later game on Wednesday, featuring Italy and Japan, but it'll take something special to keep Brazil out of the knockout round and get Mexico in at this point. Neymar was the star for his country, scoring the winner and setting up the clincher in a 2-0 win.

'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre made significant and surprising changes to his lineup. He reintroduced Jorge Torres Nilo at left back, moving Carlos Salcido to midfield. He also went defensive on his right flank, playing Gerardo Torres ahead of Hiram Mier. It didn't pay off early, with Brazil unleashing an early onslaught on the Mexican goal.

Brazil took the lead in the 9th minute thanks to their biggest star and some lax defending. Alves set up the chance with a cross into the box, which 'Maza' Francisco Rodriguez weakly cleared away. His header only got as far as Neymar, who smoked a volley past Corona at his near post from 18 yards.

Jose Corona was called into action again shortly afterwards, making an absolutely spectacular 12th-minute save on a cheeky, lofted long-range shot by Dani Alves.

The rest of the first half was less encouraging from Brazil. They broke quickly when Mexico lost the ball, but never looked much like scoring. El Tri, poor for around the first 20 minutes, were arguably the better side late in the half.

Things started off brightly for Brazil after the break, even if it failed to score in the early going. Thiago Silva had a goal disallowed for offside in the 48th minute, while Neymar and Hulk both had narrow misses on clear chances just a minute apart.

Mexico had a few encouraging half-chances after Hector Herrera and Pablo Barrera were substituted on, but they never tested Julio Cesar. Neymar and Brazilian substitute striker Jo finished off El Tri in stoppage time, combining for a brilliant goal. Neymar beat two defenders on the left wing before squaring for Jo, who had a simple finish to end any hopes of a Mexican comeback.

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