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World Cup 2018: Brazil 2-0 Mexico - Hits and flops from the game

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Mexico's Salcedo (left) tries to catch up with Neymar (right)

In what many have opined to the most unpredictable World Cup in the history of the competition thus far, American rivals Brazil and Mexico went toe to toe to decide the fifth entrant into the quarterfinals of the most watched sporting event in the world.

The fact that underdogs have had a good run in Russia coupled with stalwart performances from the likes of Russia and Denmark the previous day gave the Mexicans hope. But it was not to be for El Tri as Tite's side romped home to a 2-0 win with a dogged showing on the night.

While much of the first 45 minutes were dominated by the men in the green shirts, the Seleçãos hit back early in the second half when Neymar was able to tap in a low ball by Willian from a couple of yards outside the goal.

Neymar played the penultimate part in Brazil's second goal just minutes before the final whistle as he booted a shot from the outside of his foot from close range. Despite Guillermo Ochoa managing to knick the ball, substitute Roberto Firmino tapped in from 2 yards out to take the 5-time World Cup winners home at the Samara Arena.

Let us now have a look at the players who heavily impacted the game and the ones who didn't.


#5 Hit: Guillermo Ochoa

Guillermo Ochoa was in
Guillermo Ochoa was in "you shall not pass" mode yet again between the sticks tonight

Despite letting in two goals, the 32-year-old shot-stopper Guillermo 'Memo' Ochoa was undoubtedly Mexico's best player on the field tonight. But this is nothing out of the unusual.

Ochoa has been a wall-like presence in the defence of the North Americans since the inception of the tournament. He was at it in the opening fixture against Germany where he parried a pinpoint Toni Kroos freekick on to the crossbar and he was at it again at the Samara Arena tonight, where he made a total of 8 saves.

The Standard Liege goalkeeper has now accumulated a whopping 25 saves in the tournament, which is bettered by no one. He overtook Kasper Schmeichel, who has 21 saves in Russia.

There were several times when the likes of Neymar and Willian had cleaned up the back line of El Tri and a netbuster seemed imminent but there was Ochoa to deny them all. Without his heroics, the margin of the Brazilian victory would have been much wider and it is safe to say that Ochoa kept the Mexicans in the game for a long time.

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A sports enthusiast in general and a football fanatic in particular, I support FC Bayern Munchen. I am also a keen follower of NBA and a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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