- A slowly played soccer match can feel like it can last forever and especially so when it goes to extra time and penalties. Sunday produced two of the slowest and longest World Cup matches in recent memory with Spain’s pass-fest and then the instant goals by Croatia and Denmark then 115 minutes of boredom.
- The first 45 minutes of Mexico/Brazil went by in an instant.
- Mexico could have defeated Germany 7-1 the way Germany defeated Brazil 7-1 in 2014. They entirely dominated the match but squandered countless scoring opportunities as they rampaged on the counter.
- Mexico’s attack in the final third was fraught with bad decision-making against Brazil.
- Mexico hasn’t reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup since 1986. The Cachirules scandal kept Mexico out of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Since then, the Round of 16 has been a cruel and sadistic struggle. Mexico lost to Bulgaria on Penalties in 1994 at Giants Stadium in the Round of 16. Germany eliminated Mexico 2-1 in the Round of 16 in France. The toughest Round of 16 loss of this era came in 2002 when they were defeated 2-0 by the United States. Argentina defeated Mexico 2-1 in the Round of 16 in 2006. Argentina had the pleasure again in 2010 in South Africa, beating Mexico 3-1. In 2014, Mexico was eliminated 2-1 by the Netherlands.
- Philippe Coutinho cuts middle from the left side of the box to set up a strike on his right foot that you thought would be a goal.
- Brazil has so much talent beyond Neymar where the question of whether he’s worth it is persuasive. But they have been setting up this dominant framework over the past two years without Roberto Firmino in their XI.
- Neymar started cutting inside in the same way just a moment later in the 51st minute and superbly took on several defenders before laying the ball off to Willian who found Neymar continuing his run right in front of goal.
- Twirling around the defense makes Brazil unstoppable and why Neymar has to keep the ball moving and not fall in love with brandishing his skill.
- Firmino scored the clinching goal two minutes after coming on for Coutinho in the 88th minute.
- One of Russia, Croatia, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia and England will be in the World Cup Final from their side of the bracket.
- England and Sweden are the only countries from that group that have reached a World Cup Final with England winning it in 1966 and Sweden losing to Brazil in 1958.
- The July 10th semifinal, likely between Brazil and France, could very well become the de facto final.
- Chucky Lozano will be 30 when Mexico co-hosts the World Cup with the United States and Canada in 2026.
- The 2026 World Cup will be expanded from 32 to 48 teams, which will make getting to the Round of 16 a different type of challenge, but the possibility for variance in the knockout stage could be greater.
- Carlos Vela will be playing in the BIG3 in 2026.
A World Cup Abstract: Brazil 2, Mexico 0