Neymar's magic provides spark

Neymar getting a piggyback ride from Paulinho after opening the scoring against Mexico in their last-16 match. Brazil's No. 10 also set up substitute Roberto Firmino for a late strike to seal the five-time winners' 2-0 triumph and passage into the qu
Neymar getting a piggyback ride from Paulinho after opening the scoring against Mexico in their last-16 match. Brazil's No. 10 also set up substitute Roberto Firmino for a late strike to seal the five-time winners' 2-0 triumph and passage into the quarter-finals. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Neymar getting a piggyback ride from Paulinho after opening the scoring against Mexico in their last-16 match. Brazil's No. 10 also set up substitute Roberto Firmino for a late strike to seal the five-time winners' 2-0 triumph and passage into the qu
Firmino scoring the second goal.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Star forward produces his best display so far in Russia as Brazil ease their way into q-finals

Brazil 2
Mexico 0

For Brazil and Mexico alike, it was the same old story. Brazil have reached the quarter-finals of every World Cup since 1994. Mexico have been in the last 16 every time since then, but never the last eight. They fell at the same hurdle for the seventh successive tournament as Brazil bucked the trend for superpowers to beat an early exit.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline 'Neymar's magic provides spark'. Print Edition | Subscribe