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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 15 April 2021


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THE HOSTS FACE Mexico in their second Group A encounter.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Brazil 0-0 Mexico

With all but two of the teams now up and running (Russia and South Korea kick off in the late game at 11pm), we’re back to Group A with Brazil and Mexico looking to build on their early victories.

The host nation were awarded a couple of contentious decisions in the 3-1 win over Croatia while Mexico were 1-0 winners against Cameroon.

Here are the teams:

BRAZIL: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Gustavo, Ramires, Oscar, Neymar, Fred. Subs: Jefferson, Fernandinho, Hulk, Dante, Maxwell, Henrique, Hernanes, Willian, Bernard, Jo, Maicon, Victor.

MEXICO: Ochoa, Aguilar, Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno, Layun, Herrera, Vazquez, Guardado, Giovani, Peralta. Subs: Corona, Salcido, Reyes, Fabian, Jimenez, Pulido, Hernandez, Ponce, Brizuela, Aquino, Pena, Talavera.

Chelsea midfielder Ramires replaces Hulk, who was poor last time out, while Mexico are unchanged.

Mexico have won two of the past three meetings with Brazil — a 2-0 win in a friendly back in 2012 and 2-1 in the London Olympics final. In last year’s Confederations Cup final, however, Brazil were triumphant.

Here comes the Brazilian anthem… and Neymar is in tears.

We’ve just kicked off. Brazil in their traditional yellow and blue while Mexico are wearing a red and black away strip.

There have already been a couple of niggly fouls in the early stages with Rodriguez catching Guardado and Layun taking down Gustavo.

Chance for Fred but the striker hits the side netting after being picked out by Oscar… and is then flagged offside anyway.

Brazil certainly aren’t holding back here and the latest opportunity sees Marcelo break down the left and pull a ball back to the front post. It hits the chest of Paulinho, however, and goes out of play.

Luis Gustavo lets fly from distance but gets his angles all wrong before Fred is ruled offside moments later.

Layun is on the receiving end of a late challenge by Dani Alves (now sporting peroxide blonde hair with Neymar) but he will be okay to continue.

Hector Herrara fires a rasper at goal and Julio Cesar makes a fingertip save to touch it over the bar. Despite the contact, Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir awards a goal-kick.

A brilliant leap from Neymar forces Guillermo Ochoa into a top drawer save in what is the best chances of the game so far.

They’re making some noise.

Mexico attack with some purpose and a cross is cleared only as far as Vazquez, whose snapshot whistles past Cesar’s post.

A Brazil free-kick finds its way to David Luiz in acres of space and Ochoa again stops a certain goal with a point-blank save.

Meanwhile, Ramires has been booked for chopping down Aguilar. Guardado delivers but it’s overcooked.

The second half has started and Brazil have taken off Ramires and brought on Bernard.

Bernard immediately involved by latching onto a chipped ball over the top from Alves. The Shakhtar Donetsk winger attempts to find Neymar in a central area but it’s cleared behind for a corner.

Alves takes the set-piece short to Oscar and his strike from 25 yards is a good distance off-target.

Mexico are getting closer and closer to breaking the deadlock. Vazquez shoots just over the bar, Do Santos’ effort is blocked and rolls through to Cesar, then Herrera is slightly too high with his strike and Guardado drives wide.

Neymar steps up to have a pop with a free-kick from 30 yards. It’s well-struck but curls a couple of yards too far to the left.

Fred, who has done absolutely nothing this evening, goes off to be replaced former Manchester City forward Jo.

Bernard crosses to the back post where Neymar kills the ball on his chest and blasts at goal. Not for the first time tonight, Ochoa is in the right place to get a vital block in.

Here comes Chicharito – Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez takes Peralta’s place for the final 15 minutes.

Another substitution by Mexico coach Miguel Herrara with his namesake Hector Herrera making way for Marco Fabian.

A pass is fed into the feet of Hernandez and he swivels but is taken down by Thiago Silva. The Brazilian captain accepts the yellow card and hands their opponents a free-kick in a really good area.

Dos Santos and Marquez stand over the ball.

Dos Santos takes and can’t beat the wall. Brazil then break with Neymar but his through-ball goes all the way through to Ochoa.

Should Silva’s tackle have been a straight red? You decide.

That’s Dos Santos’ last action as he trudges off to be replaced by Raul Jimenez of Rosarito in his homeland.

Willian is on Brazil’s final throw of the dice… for Oscar.

That’s a big, big chance with four minutes on the clock. Neymar whips in a free-kick from just off the sideline and Gustavo arrives on time to head goalward. Incredibly, Ochoa keeps it out for the umpteenth time tonight.

Decent penalty shout! New man Jimenez wraps his arm around Marcelo, who goes down easy. Seen them given.

Full-time: Brazil 0-0 Mexico 

About the author:

Ben Blake