Port Said's FIFA U-20 World Cup kicks off with a potentially explosive Group E clash between two continental champions. CONCACAF kings Costa Rica are the team aiming to cause an early sensation against Brazil, whose South American success has cemented their traditional place among the pre-tournament favourites.
Brazil-Costa Rica, Port Said, Sunday 27 September, 16:00 (local time)
In the history of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, no team has won as many matches or scored as many goals as A Seleção - and most observers will expect Costa Rica to prove their latest victims. However, Los Ticos' credentials were amply demonstrated during a hugely impressive qualifying campaign, one which culminated in a 3-0 final win over USA that took everyone by surprise. Everyone, that is, but Costa Rica themselves. Ronald Gonzalez and his self-assured side feel they have earned the right to feel confident of upsetting a team that, though talented, proved not to be without their deficiencies during the South American preliminaries.
1989 - the year in which these sides' respective coaches, Rogerio Lourenco and Ronald Gonzalez, competed as players in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Both sported the No5 jersey in Saudi Arabia and, of the two, it was Rogerio who enjoyed the greater success, finishing third after succumbing to Portugal's famous 'golden generation' in the semi-finals. Despite Gonzalez's best efforts, Costa Rica missed out on qualifying from the group stage on goal difference.
"It has been difficult to analyse Costa Rica closely because they are an opponent whom we have not seen often and do not know very well. Clearly, we have noted their fine results in qualifying, but the first match is always important in any tournament, with a lot of pressure attached, and we will be doing everything to make sure we win," Rogerio Lourenco, Brazil coach.
"We have a great chance to show what we are made of. We want to win the first match in order to move to the next round and get as far as possible in the tournament. The important thing is to go on the field and give 100 per cent for a country that believes in and trust its U-20 team," Josue Martinez, Costa Rica forward.