Day 6 of the 2014 World Cup features the host nation back in action for their second game of the epic tournament. Brazil take on Mexico in what is sure to be another exciting match.
Each of these teams opened up with wins. Brazil took down Croatia by a score of 3-1. Neymar scored two goals, but Brazil appeared jittery as a whole. Perhaps the pressure of playing in front of a roaring home crowd got to them, but that shouldn't be an issue in future matches.
Mexico looked sharp against Cameroon, even if the final result was just 1-0. It took a game-winning goal from Oribe Peralta to swing the match Mexico's way, but they enter their match against Brazil with confidence.
Which of these two teams will prevail on Tuesday? Below is everything you need to know to both watch the match and understand its implications.
TV Schedule and Live Stream
|June 17||3 p.m.||A||Brazil vs. Mexico||ESPN|
The implications are high for this contest, as the winner will secure a berth in the knockout round of the tournament. Because that is the case, expect a fiery performance from both squads from start to finish.
Neymar and Oscar were the stars for Brazil in the opener, but the team largely failed as a whole. Had it not been for the Japanese referee, Brazil may not have even won the match. BT Sport's Ian Darke agrees:
Game changing pen decision howler from ref Nishimura vital in Brazil win v Croatia. One of worst I've seen. Brazil will have to improve.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) June 12, 2014
Brazil certainly must improve, especially against a Mexico team that looked good against Cameroon. Despite allowing too many chances to Cameroon in the first half of play, Mexico should have won by more than one goal.
Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com wrote about how controversial officiating impacted the final score:
Mexico, meanwhile, had its share of controversy in its opening 1-0 win over Cameroon. El Tri had two first-half goals incorrectly called back due to offside whistles, but an Oribe Peralta rebound goal gave Mexico the lead in the 61st minute. They were able to control possession for most of the game, although Cameroon had opportunities in the box, especially in the first half. Gio Dos Santos continued his excellent form, as he always seems to do with the national team.
After looking like a team that could escape group play against Cameroon, Mexico have to continue against Brazil. Coach Miguel Herrera is confident in his team. So confident, in fact, that he said they could win the whole thing:
Miguel Herrera speaking in press conference, ahead of Mexico game v Cameroon: "We can win the World Cup."— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTSUSA) June 12, 2014
The Mexican attack can be overwhelming, and that should make for a very exciting match. According to Alicia Rodriguez of MLSsoccer.com, Mexico have also had success against Brazil recently:
Of all the teams in the tournament, Mexico may be the country that has given Brazil the biggest problems over the past several years. The biggest came in 2012 when Mexico beat Brazil in the Olympic final, the only notable tournament the Brazilians have never won. But Mexico have also won seven times in the last 13 tries on the senior level. Of course, Brazil won the last matchup, a convincing 2-0 win in last year's Confederations Cup, so maybe their luck has changed.
Brazil might also be without on of their stars, as Hulk left practice on Sunday with an apparent muscle injury. The Associated Press (h/t Fox News) reports that he is doubtful for the match. This leaves a big hole in Brazil's strategy and will certainly impact the outcome of this contest.
Given the performances of each team in their openers, nobody should be surprised if Mexico pulls off an upset here. At the very least, Brazil shouldn't be considered untouchable favorites.