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Neymar leads Brazil to 2-0 win over Mexico

Updated: 2013-06-20 15:27

Neymar leads Brazil to 2-0 win over Mexico

Brazil's Marcelo (R) fights for the ball with Mexico's Gerardo Flores during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, June 19, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

FORTALEZA, Brazil - Neymar scored one goal and set up another for Jo to lift Brazil to a 2-0 win over Mexico on Wednesday and all but secure a spot in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup for the host nation.

The Brazilian striker scored his second of the tournament with a left-footed volley from just inside the penalty box in the ninth minute after Mexican defenders failed to clear a cross, and then slipped past two defenders to help Jo score an easy goal in second-half injury time.

"I'm happy to have played well again," Neymar said. "But what was more important was that the team had a good performance. We are improving game after game and we are getting better.

"This gives us more confidence for the next matches."

Mexico, which had won two of its last three matches against Brazil, fought strongly but had little finishing power up front. Mexico is now in a near impossible position to advance in the World Cup warmup competition.

Brazil opened with a 3-0 win over Japan. Mexico lost 2-1 to Italy.

Brazil leads the group with six points, three more than Italy. Mexico and Japan remain without a point. The top two teams in each of the groups advance to the next round of the eight-team tournament among continental champions.

One of Brazil's recent losses to Mexico was in the Olympic final last year, when the team led by Neymar and Oscar were considered favorites to win Brazil's first gold medal but failed.

"We had been having problems with Mexico recently, and that Olympic final was still in the mind of some of our players who were there," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "It was important to get this victory against them."

Backed by loud home fans packing the Arena Castelao in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, Brazil came out attacking from the beginning. It took a while before Mexico could get into the game. The Brazilian players were constantly getting the crowd involved and had their support throughout the match.

Mexico had few chances but came close to scoring the tying goal late in the second half. The best chance was a shot by Andres Guardado that was deflected by a defender in front.

Neymar leads Brazil to 2-0 win over Mexico

Mexico's Javier Hernandez (C) fights for the ball with Brazil's David Luiz and Thiago Silva during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, June 19, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

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