SAMARA, Russia, July 2 (Reuters) - Neymar and Firmino were on target as Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 in their World Cup last 16 clash on Monday to earn a quarter-final against either Belgium or Japan.
After an open but goalless first half in hot conditions, tournament favourites Brazil broke through in the 51st minute when a Neymar backheel sent Willian clear on the left and the star striker was on hand to slide in to reach his team mate’s low return cross.
Impressive goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa kept Mexico in touch with good saves from Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Paulinho but though the Central Americans worked tirelessly, and showed a real willingness to attack, they struggled to create any clear chances as their second-round curse struck again.
Neymar then set up Firmino for the second goal two minutes from time as Mexico exited in the last 16 for the seventh successive World Cup. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ossian Shine)