The debate will now rage as to whether Neymar overreacted to Miguel Layun's stray foot - the Mexico man certainly seemed to have stood on the Brazilian's ankle - when it should be zeroing in on what was arguably one of his most effective performances for the Selecao.
After a goalless first half, Neymar soon gave Brazil the lead before substitute Firmino put the game out of Mexico's reach during the closing stages. Neymar streaked down the left side and found Roberto Ferminho down the middle who stabbed in the game's second goal to seal the 2-0 win. It turned out to be pure histrionics. A toe-poked attempt to beat Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 88th minute was diverted into the path of Robert Firmino, who scored with a tap-in just like Neymar did. "Absolutely, but Layun steps on him".
Consequently, Brazil will now face either Belgium or Japan in the quarter-final.
He had been Brazil's greatest threat in the first half and he had scored the opening goal in the second, unlocking the Mexican defense with an astute backheel and then tucking in Willian's low cross.
Brazil continued its run for redemption through the 2018 World Cup on Monday with a 2-0 win over Mexico to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. "How we use him is very important in a tournament like this, when we have very little time to recover between games".
Neymar, who was also the subject of mockery for rolling over an excessive number of times after being fouled during a group-stage draw with Switzerland, insisted that Layun's action was unsporting.
"In the last two matches I didn't talk to the press because there are too many people talking, getting excited".
This year's World Cup had started so promisingly for Mexico.
But El Tri's error was losing that final group-stage game 3-0 against Sweden.
Neymar can lead Brazil to glory here in Russian Federation, but to maximise the Selecao's chances he needs to link up with his team-mates in that fashion. Fresh among tiring legs, Firmino was able to evade the defense to get in the right place to score the second goal.
"The key was to play together without the ball because with the ball we know the quality of the team", Willian said. Upsets in this tournament have already claimed the last two World Cup finalists and the last two World Cup winners.
Brazil advanced to a Friday quarterfinal in Kazan, Russia, against the victor of Monday's Belgium-Japan game.