Brazil have earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Mexico in the Confederations Cup. The hosts took an early lead, then grinded it out for the rest of the match before adding another in stoppage time for good measure.
The pre-match excitement surrounding Tuesday's meeting in Fortaleza was overshadowed somewhat by continued protests in Brazil. Many people are upset over the money the country is spending to host next year's World Cup, as well as the summer Olympics in 2016.
Thousands of protesters clashed with police as they tried to reach the Estadio Castelao, where the match was being held. Brazil's football team, however, were focused on defeating Mexico.
Neymar strikes early, again
Once again, an early volley from Neymar opened the scoring. After Javier Rodriguez's poor headed-clearance of a Dani Alves cross, Neymar sent a powerful left-footed shot from the top of the box straight past goalkeeper Jose Corona to make it 1-0. It was the second goal inside of 10 minutes in consecutive matches for the Barcelona-bound star.
Brazilkept up their high-octane pressing attack for several more minutes before David Luiz's bloody nose temporarily reduced them to ten men. The Chelsea defender had trouble stopping the bleeding, and spent a good portion of the half unable to play.
Mexicotook control as the half wound down, sparked by creative attacker Giovanni dos Santos. They could not beat goalkeeper Julio Cesar however, and after 45 minutes it remained 1-0.
Mexico rally, Brazil win it
Shortly after the restart, team captain Thiago Silva looked to have found the back of the net off of a free kick, but referee Howard Webb ruled the goal offside.
Narrow misses from both striker Javier Hernandez and winger Andres Guardado gave Mexico momentum as the match wore on. However it was Brazil who added to their tally in stoppage time. Racing down the left wing, Neymar cut into the box, beat two Mexico defenders and squared the ball to substitute striker Jo. It was a simple finish that effectively ended the match.
The 2-0 score means the hosts remain perfect in their Confederations Cup campaign. Brazil lead group A with 6 points.
In Wednesday's late match, Italy scored a 4-3 victory against Japan, securing their place in the semifinals.