Five Aside: Matchday 12
With its 4-1 defeat of Cameroon in the capital city of Brasilia, Brazil won its group for the ninth straight World Cup. Mexico finishes as the Group A runner-up with its 3-1 victory over Croatia in Recife, advancing to the round of 16 for the sixth straight World Cup, the third-longest active streak of any team.
Here are five notes on the action from an important matchday 12:
Brazil advances past the group stage for the 12th straight World Cup, the second-longest active streak of any team behind Germany's 15 straight knockout-round appearances.
Brazil remains unbeaten in 60 straight home competitive fixtures (42-0-18) and will play in the round of 16 on Saturday against Chile, which they defeated 3-0 in the 2010 round of 16.
Neymar scored twice for the Selecao, the second of which put him in the lead in the Golden Boot standings as his tournament-leading fourth goal. He becomes the third Brazilian to score four goals in a group stage (Ronaldo 2002 , Jairzinho 1970).
Neymar's play was efficient, as he had just five total touches in the penalty area against Cameroon, two of which were goals. It was his second multi-goal game this tournament, tying him for the third-most in Brazil's history.
After having scored just one goal in its first 250 minutes of this World Cup, Mexico's offense came alive with three goals in the second half against Croatia. Rafa Marquez got the scoring started for Mexico with his 72nd-minute strike, joining Cuauhtemoc Blanco as the only Mexicans to score in three different World Cups.
Andres Guardado ended a 20-game scoreless streak with Mexico, scoring his first-ever World Cup goal in his third career tournament. Javier Hernandez scored the third goal for El Tri, which ended an 11-game, 564-minute scoreless streak, both career longs for Chicharito.
Earlier in the afternoon, Netherlands won Group B with its 2-0 defeat of Chile, winning its group for the second straight World Cup. Both Netherlands and Chile had clinched a spot in the knockout round entering their game Monday but were fighting to avoid playing the winner of Group A, which Soccer Power Index gave Brazil a 92 percent chance of earning entering the day.
The win marked the first time that the Dutch have scored two or more goals in each of their three World Cup group games. This will be the first time Chile will play in the knockout round in consecutive World Cups and the second consecutive time facing Brazil.
Both Spain and Australia had already been eliminated entering their game Monday. David Villa extended his Spain records with his 59th international goal and ninth World Cup goal in his final game for his nation after declaring his retirement from international competition earlier this month.
Australia finishes last in Group B with the loss, losing all three of its group games for the first time and with a minus-6 goal differential, the team's worst ever in a group stage. Spain ends its tournament with a minus-3 goal differential, it's worst ever in a group stage.