Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Mexico Star Lashes Out At Neymar's Play-Acting

Mexico Star Lashes Out At Neymar's Play-Acting

Mexican soccer fans react after the soccer match, Zocalo Square, Mexico City, Mexico July 2, 2018.

Outside Brazil, fans and former players condemned the Paris St Germain player, with Denmark's Peter Schmeichel calling his antics "disgraceful", former England player Alan Shearer tweeting "STOP IT".

Midfielders Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui scored in the 48th and 52nd minutes to give Japan a surprising 2-0 lead.

Just like they did with their superbly-worked opening goal. "Absolutely, but Layun steps on him". Philippe Coutinho was floating around the midfield, finding space and passes easily, Neymar's trickery on the left started causing problems for Mexico, Gabriel Jesus was getting into good positions and on the right, Willian, the most improved player since the first game, became a headache for their opponents.

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Brazil boss Tite also came to Neymar's defence after the match, calling his No. 10 "agile" and "fast" while asking journalists: "Is it wrong to feign, to provoke the players in the last third?"

Analysis by Express Sport from social tracking company Pulsar shows there were a staggering five million tweets regarding Messi last week, with a two million spike on Saturday when Argentina lost 4-3 to France to exit the World Cup. In the second-half, Neymar went down after a tussle with Miguel Layun.

Once Brazil took the lead, they dominated the play.

After being largely contained in the first half, a goal from Neymar after the break - the 57th for his country - and a late tap-in from substitute Roberto Firmino ended Mexico's participation in a tournament to which it has contributed much.

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Reaction: Neymar scared by a ghost?

After the game, Osorio pointed the finger at Neymar for setting a poor example with his "acting", but Tite insisted his man was the victim on this occasion.

"It was unfair. The ball was not in play and we were off the pitch", he signalled. This was similar to the performances against Costa Rica and Serbia last week when they did just about enough to win. Alongside those rapid sorties came more considered touches and the back-heel with which he released Willian before the opening goal, a constructive move rather than an extravagance, was indicative of a player thinking about consequences rather than simply revelling in actions. Defensive solidity is paramount; Brazil know they have the players who can score aplenty at the other end.

After a return to its training base in Sochi, Brazil heads back north to Kazan for Friday's quarterfinal match.

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Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo has again linked Willian with a possible move to Barcelona . Roma No.1 Alisson Becker is subject of interest from Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool .


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