Yesterday was a particularly boring day for the third and fourth round of the World Cup final. Today, before tonight’s Belgium-Japan match, Brazilians and Mexicans faced off in Samara to find out who would join the French, Uruguayans, Russians and Croats in the quarter-finals of this Russian World Cup. Especially since the winner of the Seleção-El Tri match could potentially meet the Blues in the semifinals of this competition if all the planets lined up well. We were expecting a little more show and more goals than we had in Sunday’s meetings.
As soon as the first team announced, we had the right to a little surprise with the start of Rafael Marquez, who was then competing for his fifth World Cup. The first opportunity was to credit the former Monaco teammates. On the side, Guardado centered, Alisson was boxing on Lozano who hit a defender (2nd). Neymar was responding almost instantly after losing a salcedo bullet. The Parisian sent a big shot from afar, well boxed by Ochoa (5′). For nearly 20 minutes, the Mexicans had the leather and were trying to speed up the auriverd side. However, the strikes always found an obstacle. On the opposite side, Neymar seemed to be well in his legs and accelerated to the left and then fell on the very firm Hand of Memo Ochoa (25′). Gabriel Jesus, a little discreet, also found the former keeper of the AC Ajaccio on his way (33′). The Brazilians were in a strong time, but had to be wary of the cons of the men of Juan Carlos Osorio who were projecting themselves forward. After a first period of high intensity, the two teams joined the dressing rooms on a score of zero and blank.
Neymar marks and passes
On the way back from the locker room, the Brazilians of Tite tried to push the mushroom. On a Neymar corner played by two, Philippe Coutinho played and hit hard, but, once again, Memo Ochoa was on the road (48′). El Tri continued to play in the counter and Gallardo, after a crazy race, tried his luck, but did not fit (50′). But it didn’t take much for the Mexican lock to break. On an attack placed, taking advantage of a nice inspiration from Neymar, who embarked all the Defense with him and followed him, Willian swung over to the left side and centered in front of the goal. Gabriel Jesus missed the ball, but Neymar tacled to keep him in the net (1-0, 51′). Willian was becoming absolutely untenable, much better than in the first half.
The Paulistas were particularly well organized. Two lines of four players formed when the Mexicans attacked, leaving little chance for their opponents. Offensively, Brazil was well oiled. On a marvelous split right side, Fagner centered behind Paulinho at the penalty point. However, Ochoa was still there (59′). Vela tried to answer on the counter, but her shot was hijacked as a corner by Alison (61′). Ochoa once again warmed his gloves on a shot by Willian (63′). Neymar had a nice special treatment, as evidenced by this sole of Layun while the star of the Paris SG was off the field (70′). But more is needed to discourage it. Indeed, on a counter, Neymar transmitted the leather to Firmino who only had to push it (2-0, 89e). Despite an excellent Ochoa, the Mexicans lost by two goals. The Brazilians joined Russia, France, Croatia and Uruguay in the quarter-finals.