Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Mexico has left Brazil with work to do as they prepare for their final game in Group B. Lying second in the section, ahead of El Tri on goal difference only, A Seleção's future in the competition hinges on how they fare against the surprising Swiss, who already have one hand on their ticket to the last 16 with two wins out of two.
One man keeping his cool despite the tricky situation the Brazilians find themselves in is coach Luiz Nizzo. "There's no point in going crazy. We need to stay calm now more than ever and keep our heads," he tells FIFA.com.
"Losing our equilibrium in a situation like this won't do us any good at all. We played a good game, we had a momentary lapse of concentration and we lost on a set-piece. It was a case of win or bust for Mexico and it worked out for them. All I can do is congratulate them."
Having spent the last 22 years working with young footballers, Nizzo knows exactly how to get the best out of his players. "They are still finding their way and we can't treat them as if they were professionals. Emotionally they're very unstable and that can show through out on the pitch. When Mexico scored heads began to drop and they started making basic errors. We need to lift them again, and do it quickly but patiently too."
An energetic presence on the touchline, the amiable Nizzo plays an important role in coaxing and cajoling his young charges. "I always move around and gesticulate a lot during games," he explains. "At their age the boys need someone to play the game with them. They're learning and they need to get the difference between what they should and shouldn't do locked into their heads. It's nothing more than that, though."
Tactics versus technique
In their final decisive group game the South American champions and three-time trophy winners face section leaders Switzerland, the tournament newcomers who have surprised everyone with their speedy qualification for the Round of 16.
"We watched them against Mexico and saw most of what they did against Japan," continues Nizzo. "They are very strong physically and they're going to make life difficult for us. But that's what makes football so exciting. Anything can happen, and just when you think you've got an easy game, it turns out to be tough and vice-versa."
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Brazil supremo is expecting a clash of styles in Abuja. "Switzerland are very disciplined in tactical terms, while our biggest weapon is our creativity. Our game needs a little bit of that, we need to be more tactically aware. As soon as we start combining that with our technical ability, we'll be more of an all-round side."
Given the threat posed by the central Europeans, Nizzo knows his side cannot afford to rely solely on the trickery of star duo of Coutinho and Neymar if they are to progress. "We'll have to see how big the pitch is in Abuja. If it's another small pitch, it will be harder for us because our ball players will have less space to work in. That's why it's important for us to apply ourselves and be clever tactically. I'll say it again, though; anything can happen. Look at Japan. They could have beaten Switzerland easily and they ended up losing."
Yet, despite the unpredictability of events in Group B, Nizzo remains focused on Brazil's ultimate goal. "We'll have to wait and see what happens against the Swiss, but I can tell you that things are far from over here. Reaching the final is still our main objective."