PV Sports Desk : Brazil-2, Mexico-0
Brazil and Mexico were goalless at halftime in their World Cup last 16 game in a balmy Samara on Monday as Mexico, eliminated at this stage in the last six tournaments, made most of the early running but too often over-elaborated when in range.
Tournament favourites Brazil took a long time to get going in the face of some hard-working Mexican pressing but went closest to opening the scoring when Neymar and Gabriel Jesus both had shots blocked by keeper Guillermo Ochoa.
The winners will face Belgium or Japan, who meets later on Monday, in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, Brazil coach Tite made only one change from the starting line-up that beat Serbia 2-0 in their final group game with Filipe Luis stepping in to replace injured midfielder Marcelo for the World Cup last 16 clash against Mexico. Despite a shaky start, Brazil are on track to win a record sixth World Cup and Tite is taking no chances against a Mexico side showing real promise on their march to a seventh consecutive place in the last 16. Luis, of Atletico Madrid, steps in to replace Marcelo in the defensive midfield position after the Real Madrid player was forced off against Serbia with back spasms. Otherwise Brazil are unchanged, Manchester City striker Gabriel leading their attack in front of Willian, Philippe Coutinho and Neymar. Jesus, 21, has yet to score on his World Cup debut.Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, meanwhile, made only two changes to the side that suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their final match, giving 39-year-old Rafael Marquez his first start of this World Cup.
Brazil brought in Filipe Luis at left back for their World Cup last 16 encounter with Mexico on Monday with regular starter Marcelo failing to fully recover from a back injury.
Opponents Mexico make two changes from the 3-0 loss to Sweden, with Hugo Ayala replacing the suspended Hector Moreno in central defence and captain Rafael Marquez also coming into the side.
Marquez’s inclusion means Miguel Layun drops to the bench and the responsibility rests with Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela to support lone striker Javier Hernandez.