Brazil maintained their 100 per cent start to the Confederations Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico in Fortaleza.
An early Neymar strike, coupled with an added-time goal from the substitute Jo, proved decisive for the home side, who started the game brightly, but Mexico will feel aggrieved they didn’t take at least a point having grown in stature as the game progressed.
Former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari named an unchanged Brazil side from the one which beat Japan 3-0 on Saturday, ensuring starts for both David Luiz, who partnered Thiago Silva at centre-back, and Oscar.
Oscar was playing in a slightly deeper role than he is usually accustomed to at Stamford Bridge, just off the attacking trio of Neymar, Fred and Hulk, and he was unfortunate not to break the deadlock inside the opening three minutes.
With the hosts attacking from the kick-off, the warning signs were already in place for Mexico, and Oscar looked to have opened the scoring when he arrived at the far-post to slot into an empty net, only to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside.
Six minutes later, though, Brazil took the lead in stunning fashion. Daniel Alves’s cross from the right was headed away, but as the ball dropped out of the sky, Neymar displayed fantastic technique to crash a first-time volley into the back of the net, his second goal in the tournament thus far.
Alves was next to go close as Brazil, who had scored in their previous 16 matches, threatened to run riot, seeing his delicate chip tipped over the bar by Jose Corona.
Neymar, whose every touch was greeted with deafening cheers by a fervent home support, almost doubled his tally shortly after when he fizzed a strike inches over the bar having brought it down with the cleverest of touches.
Just after the half-hour mark there was cause for concern, both for Brazil and Chelsea, when David Luiz went down inside the box as he attempted to clear a free-kick.
Replays showed the Blues defender had accidentally collided with Silva, and he was down receiving treatment for almost five minutes as the Brazilian doctor struggled to stem the flow of blood from his nose.
Having left the field of play in order to receive further treatment and change his shirt, David Luiz was re-introduced to the action, but within minutes, and with the blood continuing to pour from his nose, he was once again ordered off by referee Howard Webb.
Thankfully, the half-time interval, which soon followed, allowed the Brazilian medical staff to finally get the 25-year-old back in working order, and he emerged for the second half in good shape.
Brazil had him to thank for preserving their lead in the 59th minute when he made a timely interception to cut out a pass which would have seen Javier Hernandez left with the simplest of finishes as Mexico increased the pressure.
Oscar had been one of Brazil’s standout performers in their opening game, but the youngster had been a peripheral figure for much of this match, and he was replaced by Lazio midfielder Hernanes just after the hour mark.
His club team-mate, meanwhile, continued to lead by example at the back, with a string of crucial defensive headers as Mexico attempted to claw their way back into the game.
However, in the third minute of added-time, Jo, who scored his first Brazil goal at the weekend, netted his second for the national side from close-range after excellent work by Neymar.