Brazil face Mexico in repeat of Olympic final

Brazil face Mexico in repeat of Olympic final
Brazil's Oscar during a training session

by Bertin Basson

Tuesday Jun 17, 2014. 12:27

Brazil and Mexico will clash in a repeat of the 2012 Summer Olympics final when they meet in a Group A 2014 World Cup encounter at the Estadio Castelaoin Fortaleza on Tuesday evening. Kick-off is at 21:00 (CAT).

The hosts got their World Cup campaign on home soil off to a perfect start with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Croatia on Thursday and will be eager to build on the win with a solid showing against the Mexicans.

El Tri beat Cameroon 1-0 in their opening game, Oribe Peralta's strike on his FIFA World Cup debut securing a well-deserved win for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners.

It was not the first time Peralta rescued Mexico and the Mexican fans will hope it will not prove to be the last.

The 30-year-old, who has been preferred to Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, had already been the his country's hero twice prior to the strike against the Indomitable Lions.

First at the 2012 Olympic Games in London against Brazil, where his brace helped Mexico to a gold medal, and then by scoring five times over two legs as Mexico secured an emphatic aggregate win over New Zealand to qualify for the showpiece event.

Five members of the current Brazil squad played in the final at Wembley and Oscar, who was on the losing side that day, admitted that he was very sad to miss out on the gold.

 “Of course I was very sad. It is a medal that Brazil have never won and we lost the final. Mexico are a very good team. I just hope the Selecao, in the next Olympics (in Rio de Janeiro), can win gold,” said Oscar, who scored the third goal in A Selecao's opening day win over the Croats.

About Tuesday's encounter, the Chelsea midfielder added: “It will certainly be as difficult as last year. In the World Cup there is an extra desire to win and I hope we can do so again this time. Mexico are a very different side to Croatia. They play the ball out from the back well and are very good on the counter-attack.”

Peralta is expecting another tough test against the five-time world champions, adding that they will try and make it as difficult as possible for Brazil.

“Thanks to the first win, we are very calm about the Brazil match, about taking another step forwards to achieving our goal. But the Brazil team is tough, very tough," he told FIFA.com

“We’re going to make life difficult for them, because this game will be crucial. Still, it’s a team that, if we play well, we can beat.”

The two teams have met each other on 38 occasions, Brazil winning 22 times, Mexico 10 times, while six matches ended all square.

Goals from Neymar and Jo secured a 2-0 win for Brazil over Mexico in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, a tournament the South Americans went on to win for a record fourth time.  




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