Brazil and Mexico begin Matchday 2 in Group A of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 when they meet at the refurbished Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. After Sunday’s defeat to Italy, Javier Hernandez and his team-mates cannot afford another slip-up against an increasingly confident host nation.
Brazil-Mexico, Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza, Wednesday 19 June, 16:00 (local time)
The two sides have made contrasting starts to their campaigns. While A Seleção brushed aside Japan 3-0, a late Mario Balotelli goal condemned the Mexicans to a 2-1 defeat against Italy, leaving them with little room to manoeuvre. Another reverse here coupled with an Italian win over the Japanese will see them exit the competition. They face a stiff test against a side that is slowly but surely coming together under Luiz Felipe Scolari and intent on making further progress in front of their fans in Fortaleza.
Jose Manuel de la Torre’s side emerged with a 2-0 win in the last full international between the countries in Texas last June. The Mexicans can also take heart from last August’s 2-1 defeat of the Brazilians in the final of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012 at Wembley.
14 - The number of survivors from that gold-medal match who will be on duty in Fortaleza, eight of them Mexican: goalkeeper Jose Corona, defenders Hiram Mier, Diego Reyes and Javier Aquino, midfielders Carlos Salcido and Hector Herrera and the forwards Giovani dos Santos and Raul Jimenez. The six members of Scolari’s squad who were in action that day were defenders Thiago Silva and Marcelo, midfielder Oscar, and the strike trio of Neymar, Lucas and Hulk.
“Mexico are always a tough side to beat. They had me choked up a few months back but I’m not looking at this game like a revenge match. To my mind it’s an important game for my career and for the team. I’m sure it’s going to be an even tougher match than the Olympic final because they’ll have more experienced players in the side,” Brazil centre-half Thiago Silva.
“I think we’re playing well and showing everything we’ve got. What we need to do is stay calm. When you work hard you get your reward and that’s what we’ve got in mind, to keep on giving it 100 per cent. We’re not giving up and we’re going to prepare hard for the Brazil match, which will be just as or even twice as tough,” Mexico centre-half Francisco Rodriguez.