Sixteen days after their opening match-up in Group E, Brazil and Costa Rica are once again set to lock horns in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009. This time, however, the stakes are much higher, with the winner earning a place in the final while the loser will contest the match for third place. Although the Seleção strolled to a 5-0 win on 27 September in Port Said, this time they will face Costa Rica at Cairo International Stadium, the scene of two epic Tico victories in the previous knockout rounds.
Although Brazil were in clinical form in the teams' group-stage encounter in Port Said, the 5-0 scoreline somewhat flattered them. Costa Rica created several goalscoring opportunities but ultimately paid a high price for taking on Brazil toe-to-toe, as well as some wayward finishing. But Roland Gonzalez's charges showed their mettle by going on to knock out hosts Egypt and then UAE, with almost the entire crowd against them on both occasions.
Still, even if Los Ticos can correct the mistakes from that opening defeat, it still may not be enough. The South Americans have shown their ability to come out on top in many different situations, and always seem capable of providing something special when it counts. All in all, Tuesday's rematch is set to be worlds apart from the pair's group-stage clash a fortnight ago - what remains to be seen is who will have the final word.
9 - The number of times the same fixture has been played twice in a single FIFA U-20 World Cup. Two of the nine involved Brazil, who emerged victorious in all four encounters: in 1985 they beat Spain 2-0 in the group stage and 1-0 in the final, while in 1989 they saw off USA 3-1 in the groups and then 2-0 in the match for third place. For Costa Rica, however, this is an entirely new experience.
"We've already beaten Costa Rica in this tournament, but this will be a completely different match. I don't think they'll make the same mistakes as they did before. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out second time round," Maicon, Brazil forward.
"We need to be more canny than we were in the first game, and above all, put away our chances. We can't let their mistakes go unpunished again, as they will punish you every time, as we found to our cost. One thing I'm sure of is that it won't be an easy game for them," Marcos Urena, Costa Rica forward.