It turned out to be pure histrionics. Neymar, who had gone to ground to try to retain possession, clamped the ball between his ankles and when Miguel Layun went to retrieve it, he trod on the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
"Ahead of the match against Brazil, Mexican Captain Andrés Guardado, who was playing his fourth World Cup hjad said", We all know who Neymar is, but it isn't up to me or my team to judge him, but the referees and Federation Internationale de Football Association", he said.
It was another painful exit for Mexico, who have failed to play a fifth game at the World Cup since hosting in 1986. Germany, the 2014 champions, were in the group as well, but finished last.
Brazil picked up where they had left off after the restart, Coutinho testing Ochoa with a fierce drive after cutting in from the left.
But they couldn't find a way to stop Neymar, who has scored two goals in four matches in Russian Federation. He described his future as "irrelevant" adding only that, "We just lost a very important match".
"He's played all four games and hasn't done too badly out of it".
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Neymar's dispute with Layun unfolded as the Mexico substitute tried to recover the ball.
Dirty move, yes, but Neymar's reaction took it next level.
The rapid recovery seemed miraculous for a player who missed the last three months of the season with a broken right foot. Hirving Lozano's half-volley was well blocked by Miranda, while at the other end, Ochoa was equal to Neymar's powerful drive from just outside the penalty area.
Eventually, he got up and got even, setting up a Roberto Firmino goal to seal Brazil's spot in the quarterfinals. Tite came to join him.
Mexico boss Juan Carlos Osorio blasted Neymar for conning the referee throughout Brazil's 2-0 win against his side on Monday.
Luis, of Atletico Madrid, steps in to replace Marcelo in the defensive midfield position after the Real Madrid player was forced off against Serbia with back spasms.