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FIFA World Cup 2018: Tite lauds ‘top-notch’ Neymar as Brazil beat Mexico

Neymar flaunted his flair and his theatrics with a goal and an assist as Brazil defeated Mexico in their FIFA World Cup 2018 Round of 16 encounter in

football Updated: Jul 02, 2018 23:09 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Samara
Neymar guided Brazil to victory over Mexico in their FIFA World Cup 2018 encounter on Monday.(REUTERS)

Neymar said Brazil need to “learn to suffer” after their 2-0 win over Mexico on Monday booked a FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-final place.

The five-time champions overcame a tricky start to the last-16 tie, as second-half goals from Neymar and Roberto Firmino sealed a deserved victory and a last-eight clash with either Belgium or Japan.

“We have to learn to suffer,” said Neymar. “It was a very difficult match, we knew the quality of our opponents.”

READ | Neymar shines as Brazil defeat Mexico to enter FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-finals

The Paris Saint-Germain forward stabbed home a low cross from Willian in the 51st minute to score his sixth World Cup goal and second of this year’s tournament, but first in a knockout match.

“Neymar was out for three-and-a-half months. At the top level, this is a lot,” said Brazil coach Tite.

“A top-notch athlete would need four or five matches to recover properly. In the previous match he was excellent and here he repeated a high-quality performance.”

READ | World Cup 2018: Neymar succeeds where Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fail

Chelsea winger Willian was a constant threat to the Mexican defence with his driving runs, as he continues to improve after a disappointing display in the opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

“I’m very happy with my performance but even more so with the team’s victory,” he said.

Brazil are bidding for a record-extending sixth World Cup trophy after their semi-final humiliation four years ago against Germany on home soil, but would face a tough test against a talented Belgium outfit should the Red Devils get past Japan.

First Published: Jul 02, 2018 23:08 IST