Once again, Brazil were far from impressive in both their defending and composure on attack, but their big star, Neymar, showed once again the kind of quality he has, with another fantastic volley goal in the 9th minute and a magical assist in the final minute, giving Jo another garbage time goal to sink Mexico out of the Confederations Cup.
Maybe we’re expecting too much of Brazil, a side that has struggled for a very long time finding a consistent lineup, and is playing in the same lineup for only the third consecutive time. Struggles will continue to be part of their road to the World Cup in 2014, but as long as their winning, everyone can live with it.
Some good words have to be said for Thiago Silva and David Luiz, helping Julio Cesar keep a clean sheet for a second consecutive match, as nothing now will keep Brazil from finding themselves in the semifinal, something that believe it or not, some feared might go wrong considering the recent friendly-matches results.
Dani Alves didn’t have a great match, once again, but his cross began the goal that Neymar scored, and almost scored during the early blitz by Brazil with a wonderful chip, saved at the very last minute by Corona.
Mexico found their bearings midway through the first half, and once again, probably needed someone with more box presence than Javier Hernandez to really bother the Brazilian. Giovani Dos Santos and Andres Guardado made some impressive plays down the flanks, showing that despite the lack of goals, the Mexican side isn’t lacking in creativity, but their scoring problems in the qualifying matches for the World Cup were once again present and clear.
However, the Brazilian midfield, reinforced by Oscar, playing in a more retreated position than he’s used to at Chelsea and when compared with the previous match, had no problem handling the very slow and subpar holding midfield Mexico showcased.
There’s still a situation that might keep Brazil from qualifying against Italy, who’ll offer, if everything goes according to plan, a much more difficult challenge than anything Brazil faced in this tournament so far. For that sake alone, Scolari should remain with his current lineup, unless injuries (and the Mexican did get aggressive during the final minutes, even dirty some might say) get in the way.
For Mexico, this means the end of the tournament, unless Japan beat the Italians and in a certain head-to-head calculation can find themselves in the semifinal, although they don’t deserve it. Not enough quality, in both the midfield and when it comes to their finishing, is keeping Mexico from showing the level of football, and results, we’ve gotten used to see from them over the years, making it probably a good thing that they deservedly don’t advance into the next stage.