Not that the switch slowed down the five-time world champions, though, with Coutinho nearly breaking the deadlock three minutes into the second half with a well-struck effort that Ochoa was forced to beat clear to safety. Neymar, who had earlier writhed around in apparent agony after Layun appeared to touch his ankle, burst through and prodded past Ochoa for Firmino to finish the game off - and Mexico with it.
"You have to remember that the second goal was at the very end of the game".
Are Brazil improving as the tournament progresses? And they have a strong bench to call upon if plan A does not work.
Lozano had an effort blocked after two minutes as did Hector Herrera, but as the first half wore on Brazil got on top in the stifling Samara heat. Subs: Fernandinho n/a, Firmino n/a, Marquinhos n/a.
Brazil kept up the intensity as Neymar weaved through two defenders to curl in from an acute angle, but Ochoa spread out his right arm to punch clear.
Brazil and Mexico were indulged in an intense slug-fest but failed to break the deadlock at halftime in their Round-of016 clash at the Samara Arena on Monday. He slid in to finish from close range after Willian sent in a risky, low cross on 51 minutes.
Neymar's talent is undeniable - he tallied a goal and an assist in Brazil's 2-0 win over El Tri - but he won't win anyone over with his flopping antics. Neymar is through on goal, his shot is saved and it falls to Firmino to tap it into an empty net.
That should not overshadow his generally positive display however, as the five-times champions beat an otherwise stubborn Mexico, whose World Cup began with such promise with a victory over champions Germany, but ended in familiar fashion in the first knockout round.