Brazil vs. Mexico (7/2 10:00 am)
Two footballing-mad nations whose respective fans follow their boys to the ends of the earth. Mexico stunned (much of) the world in their opening match against Germany which resulted in a 1-0 victory for the CONCACAF representatives. They then went on to beat South Korea before being humbled in their final game against Sweden. (Which saw the latter top the group, setting up Mexico’s game with the Samba Boys.) Brazil, on the other hand, got off to a slow start: a 1-1 draw with Switzerland and a “disappointing” win over lowly Costa Rica 2-0 before wrapping up their group with a victory over Serbia. While Mexico can put its collective faith in keeper Guillermo Ochoa and strikers Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Carlos Vela, Brazil are loaded with talent. They also, of course, feature Neymar, who has yet to look his best and certainly possesses the talent to take things to the next level. Still – Mexico can be a stubborn side for teams to break down, and I also don’t see them sitting back against the five-time champions. This will be a fiercely competitive match but Brazil will take care of business in the end.
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