He’s been limited to a back-up role for Brazil in this World Cup, but Roberto Firmino took his chance against Mexico to send Tite’s men into the quarter-finals.
Neymar had given Brazil the lead early in the second half despite a spirited start from their opponents who looked very dangerous in the opening stages.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward then looked set to double his tally, but as Guillermo Ochoa produced a top save to deny him, he could only deflect it into Firmino’s path and he made no mistake from close range to tap home.
With Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus yet to score at the 2018 World Cup, coupled with the fact Firmino has made a positive impact every time he has come off the bench, there has to be a strong argument for the Liverpool man to secure a starting berth.
Whether or not Tite opts to make such an important change this deep into the tournament remains to be seen, as evidently he does have a winning formula and he may not wish to break it.
Nevertheless, Firmino has done his chances no harm at all and he’ll be itching to get back on the pitch to continue to have an influence on Brazil’s run in Russia.
GOAL! Neymar is played in by Fernandinho, he puts on the afterburners and prods across goal for Firmino to tap into an empty net pic.twitter.com/Ahz6pLMAq5
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 2, 2018
— FIFA World Cup (@WorIdCupUpdates) July 2, 2018
— David Eversole (@SportsAllDave) July 2, 2018