Brazil and Mexico meet in Group A on Wednesday in very different frames of mind. While the hosts are looking to maintain their promising form, El Tri need points to stay in the competition.
Carlos Salcido scored twice as leaders Tigres Monterrey maintained their momentum at the top of Mexico's Clausura with a 3-1 defeat of Pachuca.
Currently poised for a place in the final phase of CONCACAF qualifying, Mexico are putting faith in the players who won gold at London 2012. FIFA.com spoke to three of them.
The fates of teams in the North, Central America and Caribbean region will become clearer after Friday's matches with only the top two teams from each group automatically qualifying for the hexagonal.
Mexico were crowned Olympic champions as Brazil’s hoodoo in the competition continued at the climax of an enthralling tournament played in iconic locations across the United Kingdom.
As well as occupying an unaccustomed midfield position at London 2012, the 32-year-old Carlos Salcido is also a calming influence for Mexico’s young bucks.