IT was joy for Brazil and heartbreak again for Mexico as the tournament favourites put in a commanding performance to win 2-0 and advance to quarterfinals.    Brazil has moved into the top eight after a 2-0 victory over a courageous Mexican pack in the round of 16.

Superstar Neymar again drew a mixed reception with further accusations of diving raining down on the Brazilian gun.

Neymar kicked off the scoring early in the second half after cleaning up a perfect cross from Willian and later set up Roberto Firmino in front of goal to double the score and seal the deal.

A series of shock upsets have rocked the 2018 World Cup to its core as the second half of the round of the knockout stage gets underway.

With Germany and Spain meeting unlikely demises, the onus is on France and Brazil to ensure Russia 2018 isn't left for the underdogs to clean up.

Brazil will now meet either Belgium and Japan, but after seeing Argentina, Spain and Portugal eliminated in the last 16, Tite's men will fancy their chances.

"We have to learn to suffer and we did suffer, it was a tough match," Neymar said.

"We knew they were a high-quality opponent."

The second match of the night will see Belgium take on Japan at 4am (AEST).


Neymar finds the net, Brazil wins

Neymar put the first points on the board shortly after the halftime break, slotting in the ball after picking up a beautiful cross from Willian Borges da Silva.

The goal put Brazil ahead of Germany on the leaderboard for most World Cup goals scored in history.

A stomp from Mexico player Miguel Layún had Neymar in all sorts on the touch line, writhing in apparent pain as team staff helped him to his feet.

In one last final blow, Neymar set up teammate Roberto Firmino in front of the net to double the Brazilian lead upon full-time and send the Mexicans packing.

They will now face the winner of today's second clash in the quarterfinals.


First half

Brazil and Mexico were locked at 0-0 at halftime of their World Cup last-16 match in Samara on Monday during a game of few clear-cut chances.

Mexico had the better of the opening stages and although Brazil threatened more towards the interval, Neymar struggled to shake of his markers and impose himself.

A knock from an opposition player put Neymar to the ground and won Brazil a free kick, but the international superstar couldn't convert the opportunity, which was his third of the half.


Mexico star makes history

Rafa Marquez has become first player to be included in the starting line-up at five World Cups. The veteran defender was used off the bench earlier in the tournament in Russia but started for Mexico in its round of 16 game against Brazil and FIFA noted his record at kick-off.

And, according to international analytics company Opta Sportsdata, Marquez (39 years, 139 days) is the oldest outfield player to start a World Cup knockout match since Stanley Matthews started for England against Uruguay in 1954 at the age 39 years, 145 days.

Marquez made his World Cup debut in a 2-1 win over Croatia on June 3, 2002 in Niigata, Japan.

- with AP


Croatian star's golden slip-up

Celebrations were all going to plan …
Celebrations were all going to plan …

Danijel Subasic was the hero on Sunday night as Croatia booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals.

But the celebrations almost got out of hand after the goalkeeper was left with a sore back from falling off the shoulders of teammate Domagoj Vida.

The Croatian shot-stopper saved three penalties in the shootout, after 120 minutes of action ended with the score 1-1 against Denmark.

Subasic made an error in the opening minute of the match, failing to stop Mathias Jorgensen's effort from rolling over the line.

Yet, the 33-year-old made up for it, saving penalties from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone and Nicolai Jorgensen, allowing Ivan Rakitic to tuck in the winner.

The Croatian players celebrated wildly, hailing Subasic as the hero, but he ended up on his back, after defender Vida put the goalkeeper on his shoulders before dropping him.

… until this happened.
… until this happened.

Following Mathias Jorgensen's opener, Denmark remained in the lead for only a few minutes as Mario Mandzukic equalised.

But the game fizzled along until extra-time when Croatia were awarded a penalty. Luka Modric stepped up but it was saved by Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel.

The Danish keeper saved two more during the shootout, but it was his opposite number that took the plaudits and the victory.

Croatia will face hosts Russia in the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history.

- with The Sun