Carlos Vela, Willian - Mexico, Brazil - Close up
REUTERS

LAFC's Carlos Vela, Galaxy's Jona dos Santos play as Mexico lose to Brazil

LAFC star Carlos Vela logged a full 90 minutes for Mexico on Monday as Brazil brought El Tri’s World Cup dream to an unceremonious end with a 2-0 win in their Round of 16 clash in Samara, Russia.

Despite a furious start from Mexico that pushed the five-time world champions deep into their own end in the early going, Brazil weathered the storm and cruised to a confident victory, paced by tap-in goals from Neymar and Roberto Firmino.

LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos came off the bench in relief of Edson Alvarez in the 55th minute, making his FIFA World Cup debut and helping Mexico’s cause with a 100 percent completion rate on his 23 passes as well as three tackles and an interception.

Working in an advanced role mainly along Mexico's right flank, Vela completed 84.9 percent of his 33 passes, including a team-high four key passes, and uncorked two shots, one of them on target, a trademark curling left-footer that forced Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson to parry the effort over the crossbar.

Real Salt Lake academy product Carlos Salcedo once again earned a start for El Tri and played a full 90 minutes at center back. Former New York Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Marquez, 39, was a surprise inclusion in El Tri’s XI, playing a holding midfield role before subbing out at halftime in what’s likely to be his last game as a professional, having announced his retirement before the tournament.

It may also prove to be former RBNY and Chicago Fire coach Juan Carlos Osorio's final game in charge of the squad.

The loss cuts short an otherwise impressive Russia 2018 for Mexico, and continues their curse of the quinto partido (“fifth game”), with the program now having crashed out at the Round of 16 stage in seven consecutive World Cups.