FULL-TIME, Brazil 2-0 Mexico: The Mexicans made themselves proud in this one, but Brazil ultimately proved they were just the better team. Philippe Coutinho was quiet for the first time in the tournament, Paulinho was bad, but Neymar had his best performance to date and led his nation to the quarterfinals. Brazil will now most likely face Belgium, and that one will be a LOT of fun.
GOAL! BRAZIL 2-0 Mexico (Firmino 88’): IT’S OVER! Quick counter-attack from Brazil, Neymar tries a shot that is deflected by Ochoa but falls to Roberto Firmino, and the Seleção will play in the quarterfinals!
60’: Brazil have taken Mexico’s best punches but are now in full control of the fight. They’ve created chance after chance following Neymar’s goal, and the knockout punch could be coming at any moment in the form of a second goal.
GOAL!!! BRAZIL 1-0 Mexico (Neymar 51’): BRAZIL TAKE THE LEAD! Neymar stars the move and finds Willian, who gets into the box and plays a perfect pass across the box to Neymar who arrives late to score the opener!
46’: And we’re off! Second half underway!
HALFTIME, Brazil 0-0 Mexico: Pretty good game so far, even though we haven’t had any monster scoring chances or big goalkeeping saves. But the intensity is high from both sides, and we should definitely see some goals in the second half as both teams have started to open up.
40’: This is an even game now. Mexico are tired after 20 minutes of high intensity, and Brazil have taken control of possession and look more dangerous.
30’: The Brazilians have finally arrived, playing better with the ball and creating dangerous chances. Mexico still carry the threat of running in behind, but Brazil are starting to even the odds here.
24’: Brazil create their first chance as Neymar makes a nice move on the left wing and gets into a great position to shoot, but goalkeeper Ochoa makes a good save.
20’: The fantastic start is now a dominant performance by Mexico in the first 20 minutes. They’re keeping possession and always threatening Brazil, and while they haven’t created any real opportunities they’re clearly the most likely to score. It’d be nice if Brazil showed up.
10’: Fantastic start by Mexico. They’re not afraid of Brazil and are pressing high up the pitch, and they’ve had the most dangerous attacking moves so far.
KICKOFF! Brazil 0-0 Mexico: Let’s do this, Coutinho and Paulinho! You’re Barça’s biggest hope now!
Starting XI: Alisson; Fágner, Thiago Silva, MIranda, Filipe Luis; Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar
Bench: Cássio (GK), Ederson (GK), Geromel, Marcelo, Marquinhos, Danilo, Renato Augusto, Fernandinho, Fred, Douglas Costa (out), Roberto Firmino, Taison
Starting XI: Ochoa; Álvarez, Ayala, Salcedo, Gallardo; Herrera, Márquez, Guardado; Vela, Hernández, Lozano
Bench: Corona (GK), Talavera (GK), Gutiérrez, Jonathan, Layún, Fabián, Raúl, Giovanni, Corona, Peralta, Aquino, Moreno (out)
Jeez, has this World Cup been fun or what? So many good games and shocking results in the group stage, and so many good games and shocking results in the knockout stage! After just two days in the Round of 16, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Spain have been knocked out, and favorites Croatia had to survive penalties to beat Denmark.
The third day of the last sixteen has another big favorites for the title in action as Brazil face Mexico, and this could easily be another upset. Mexico had maybe the best performance of the group stage, beating Germany 1-0 in what could have been quite comfortably a 4-0 thrashing. They haven’t been the same since then and were destroyed by Sweden in their final group stage match, but they’re still part of the knockout rounds and have already proved they can beat anyone, including the defending champions.
The Brazilians are still massive favorites in this one, though, and that’s because they seem to be getting better with each game. Their win against Serbia was their best performance of the tournament so far, and with Philippe Coutinho as their best player and Neymar looking better and better in his return from injury, the Seleção look set to reach the quarterfinals.
But this whole World Cup continues to prove that any result is possible, so this one really is a Can’t Miss Game. Plus we’ll see two Barça players in Coutinho and Paulinho, so join us after the team news are announced for a LIVE BLOG!
Date/Time: Monday, July 2nd, 2018, 4pm CET (Barcelona), 3pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 9am EST, 6am PST (USA), 7.30pm IST (India)
Venue: Samara Arena, Samara
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM WORLD CUP
How to watch on TV: FOX (USA), ITV 1 (UK), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), Sony ESPN (India), TSN (Canada), others
How to stream: ITV Hub (UK), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, no swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do will be warned, and those who post links will be banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another, especially when it’s the World Cup.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!