FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Brazil v Mexico
Hosts Brazil will be looking to secure a FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final spot with a win over Mexico in their meeting on Wednesday.
After their opening victory over Japan, Brazil know that victory in their Group A clash in Fortaleza will guarantee a place in the last four with a game to spare.
However, their opponents must avoid defeat in order to maintain hope of progression in the tournament after they lost 2-1 to Italy on Sunday.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side looked in great form in their game with Japan and they romped to a 3-0 win after Neymar’s superb 25-yard volley gave them an early lead.
That result means the three-time Confederations Cup winners have not lost in their last seven matches, with their previous two games yielding six goals without reply.
Mexico’s start to the tournament was not so convincing, as the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners struggled against an impressive Italy side as Andrea Pirlo controlled the midfield and Mario Balotelli led the line well.
Javier Hernandez did bring the two sides level after Pirlo’s opener, but a second-half strike from Balotelli sent Mexico to their first defeat in 10 matches.
However, during their unbeaten run, Jose Manuel de la Torre’s side only won one game and a lack of goals caused fans to protest following a 0-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw with Costa Rica last week.
Brazil have the edge in the countries’ head-to-head meetings, winning 14 of their 23 clashes and only losing eight. The five-time World Cup winners have scored 44 goals in those games, restricting their opponents to just 25.
Mexico did win in their last encounter though, a 2-0 friendly victory in Texas, USA in June last year thanks to first-half strikes from Giovani dos Santos and Hernandez.
Mon 17 June, 2013