Brazil knockout Mexico to reach World Cup quarter-final

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Brazil's forward Gabriel Jesus (right) vies with Mexico's defender Hugo Ayala during their 2018 World Cup round of 16 match at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 2, 2018.

If Mexico play to their potential, they might not need help from the match officials to beat Brazil at a World Cup finals for the first time and qualify for their first quarter-final after failing in their past six attempts.

Both sides had early chances as Brazil keeper Alisson punched a cross straight to Hirving Lozano, whose shot was blocked by Miranda.

Brazil endured a frustrating opening 45 minutes as they head into the halftime break with the score level at 0-0 against Mexico in their round of 16 tie.

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Mexico were the dominant force in the opening 20 minutes in Samara, but they were unable to make their superiority count and eventually allowed their muted opponents to scrap their way into the game.

Roberto Firmino added the second in an 88th-minute counter-attack when Guillermo Ochoa could only direct Neymar's shot into his path.

Belgium and Japan face off later in the day, with the victor facing Brazil on Friday.

Jesus then had another opportunity as a nervous Mexico defence failed to clear, but the Manchester City striker found Ochoa equal to his shot.

Paulinho should have doubled the lead when he was left alone near the penalty spot, but Ochoa once again came up with the save.

Around the 71st minute, Mexico's Miguel Layun knocked Neymar down near sideline.