May 31, 2013
(Image via CONCACAF.com)
Few countries, if any, have a greater soccer pedigree than Brazil. But few countries have been more dominant in international competitions in recent memory, namely in the under-20 ranks, than Mexico.
This means the Toulon Tournament game between the two countries on Friday afternoon promises to be a real cracker.
Mexico is the defending champion and once again boasts a very strong and deep squad, so it'll like its chances. But Brazil always poses a threat, making this game one of the highlights of group play.
When: Friday, May 31 at 1:25 p.m. ET
Where: Stade des Costières, Nîmes, France
Watch: beIN Sport
Mexican Player to Watch: Richard Sanchez
When you play against Brazil on any level, few players are more important than your keeper. And at the U-20 level, few keepers are better than Mexico's Richard Sanchez, who also plays for FC Dallas.
The 19-year-old was named the best keeper at the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship—which Mexico won, by the way—and he'll face a stiff test against Brazil. Along with Sanchez, four defenders—Francisco Flores, Bernardo Hernandez Hedgardo Marin and Antonio Briseño—made the squad, as did midfielder Jose Carlos Van Rankin.
In other words, Mexico should bring a very solid defensive unit against Brazil. Chances are, they'll need Sanchez and company to be on top of their game.
Brazil Player to Watch: Rafael Alcantara (Rafinha)
The crafty attacking midfielder and younger brother of Thiago Alcantara wasn't available for Brazil's first game against Belgium, but if he can play against Mexico, he'll surely be the focal point of Brazil's attack.
The Barcelona B player is accustomed to a different style of play than most of his Brazilian counterparts, having grown up playing in Spain, but his combination of speed and technical prowess makes him a handful for opposing defenses.
If he's on the pitch, keep a close eye on this Barcelona prospect.
This isn't Brazil's strongest side, while Mexico has an extremely strong group of players and the confidence that comes from winning recent tournaments. The Mexican defense and strong midfield will boss this game and Mexico will win, 1-0.
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