ANGEL GONZALEZ / AIPS in DUBAI: It will be mariachi or samba as champions Mexico take on favourites Brazil with a place at stake in the semi-finals of the World Cup FIFA U-17 UAE 2013.
To achieve this, the Aztecs must beat Brazil, a team who have been demonstrating their attacking power from the first day, here in Dubai.
Coach Raul Gutierrez’s team have reached the quarter-finals by improving from game to game.
In their first game Mexico suffered their only defeat so far, collapsing 6-1 to Nigeria . That defeat forced them to win the next two group games – against Iraq and Sweden – to access the knockout stage.
In the second round, Mexico eliminated Italy by 2-0 in Abu Dhabi.
A day ahead of facing Brazil ‘Potro’ [‘Pony’] Gutierrez insisted that his players knew of the threat posed by the Brazilian attack which is why they would need to maintain their concentration for the fill 90 minutes.
Brazil had no problems in reaching the quarter-finals.
The South Americans became favourites from the first day when they thrashed Slovakia 6-1. That margin of triumph was repeated against hosts UAE .
In the second round Brazil struggled in the first half against Russia before running out as 3-1 winners.
Coach Alexandre Gallo said that while Brazil were determined to become champions they had great respect for Mexico and in particular after the manner of their victory over Italy.
Most dangerous weapon for the Brazilians will be five-goal Nathan but they will miss Boschilia. The latter has scored six goals including two against the Russians when he also picked up a second yellow card which means he is suspended.
Brazil and Mexico are old rivals at this age level. In in the under-17 World Cup in Peru in 2005 Mexico achieved their first championship by beating Brazil 3-0 in the final.
In major categories , the Tri also beat the South Americans in the final of the Olympic Games in London, in 2012.
* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA
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