FORTALEZA Brazil – Brazil fans should not expect the team to dominate Mexico in their second match in World Cup Group A, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari warned on Monday, aiming to reduce the pressure on the five-time champions.
The host nation counted on the thousands of fans filling the Corinthians arena in their opening game in Sao Paulo to help them as they came from behind to beat Croatia 3-1 last week.
“We have the people together with us and we have a team in good condition, each day in better condition,” Scolari told a news conference at the Castelao arena ahead of Tuesday’s match.
“But I will tell you, Brazilians don’t expect the team to go in and become the boss of the party without the other participants also having a good performance because we know Mexico have a good team.”
The local support was critical to keeping Brazil’s young players calm and helping them recover from a goal down, captain Thiago Silva said, echoing Scolari.
“That extra push they gave us was very important for the team to keep its head, keep calm, especially because the players are very young,” Thiago Silva added.
Brazil face a difficult game against El Tri, who beat Cameroon 1-0 on Friday, but the players know that having studied their Latin American rivals in depth, Scolari added.
Mexico’s team fight hard, have lots of skill and are well organized, he said.
“Every time we play against Mexico we have difficulties. That’s why its a game they (the players) know will be very even, they need to have very good conditioning from the beginning until the end.”
“The two teams play football of very good quality, with the ball on the ground, lots of moving around,” he added.
“That’s why we will insist on all the necessary training, on the necessary respect towards Mexico. But we know a victory will put us in a highly comfortable position for the next round, so we’ll play with that in mind.”