Copa America : Mexico secure quarter-final berth; Brazil bounce back

Maracaibo, July 2:

Mexico beat Ecuador 2-1 for its second straight win and became the first team to assure itself of a place in the Copa America quarter-finals on Sunday, while Robinho scored three and put Brazil back on course with a 3-0 victory over Chile.

Nery Castillo scored for the second consecutive match and paced Mexico, which led 2-0 by the 80th minute. Robinho converted a first-half penalty and added two more late for an unconvincing Brazil, which recovered from an opening 2-0 loss to Mexico.

Mexico’s win puts it atop Group B with one game remaining, against Chile, and guarantees it one of the quarter-final spots. After Rafael Marquez sent the ball out of his own half, Castillo eluded charging Ecuadorean keeper Cristian Mora before easily tapping in Mexico’s first goal in the 22nd minute. Omar Bravo added a header in the 80th minute. Ecuador cut the lead in five minutes later when a driving shot from outside the area by Edison Mendez deflected off the foot of a Mexican defender and slid inside the left post.

Ecuador’s hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals remain alive with a win over Brazil in its final match on Wednesday and help from some other results.