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However, in the much-anticipated knockout game against Mexico, and after being overshadowed by El Tri attackers Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela and Javier "Chicharito" Harnandez in the first half, Neymar rose to the occasion when the Selecao needed him the most.

Brazil forward Neymar has defended himself against accusations he over-acted after a challenge during the 2-0 World Cup last-16 win over Mexico, saying: "I just feel the pain".

Neymar now has two goals and an assist from his four outings in Russian Federation.

RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg grabbed the only goal of a tight encounter midway through the second half to send his country into the quarters for the first time since the 1994 side who finished third in the United States. "I just hope it's his football skills we're talking about after the quarter-finals, not his amateur dramatics".

"He's played all four games and hasn't done too badly out of it".

"We wasted a lot of time because of one single player", he said.

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It was Cavani who launched the attack, switching play to the other flank where his ball found a charging Suarez. What's the ceiling for Uruguay? Oscar Tabarez's men will now face France for a place in the semi-finals.

Brazil's Neymar reacts on the sideline after "sustaining" an injury.

Brazilians, who watched Jordan Henderson go down clutching his forehead after being hit under the chin and Harry Maguire diving in the box, want the same rigid criteria to be used as when judging Neymar. Diego Maradona was not acting, Lionel Messi is not acting.

According to RTS's numbers, Neymar spent a whopping 5 minutes and 30 seconds writhing around on the ground against Mexico alone.

Brazil are bidding for a record-extending sixth World Cup trophy after their semi-final humiliation four years ago against Germany on home soil, but would face a tough test against a talented Belgium outfit should the Red Devils get past Japan. The goal somewhat changed the momentum of the game as Brazil started playing attacking football and Mexico opted for counterattacks.

While his scoring is so often the focus, Neymar also creates goals for his teammates. Paulinho has had a good season with FC Barcelona, where his ability to break into the box and score key goals was important, but that doesn't make him one of the great passers in the game.


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