Watching the Brazil-Mexico match, with Gonzalo Pineda in his Mexican jersey and Fabio Pereira in his Brazil jersey, made the game more exciting and fun. I was looking forward to this one because Mexico played well in its first game. Even though Brazil beat Croatia in the tournament’s opening match, the Brazilians were not that convincing. Sometimes a team needs two or three games to find a rhythm in a World Cup tournament.
Here are some of my observations about the 0-0 game:
• Both teams had moments and the game swung back and forth.
• Brazil had some success on the left, especially in the first half with Oscar and Marcelo being dangerous.
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• The Player of the Match without a doubt was Guillermo Ochoa. He had some big saves on Silva, Neymar and others. Ochoa stayed big and took the right space to protect.
• Mexico defended well. It held a good line and forced Brazil offside at times. Marquez slipped into midfield to help the build up.
• Brazil’s Fred was a non-factor. If the Brazilians want to win this tournament, they need to find a center forward who can make a difference.
• From the 50th to about the 60th minute, Mexico was in a real good phase and got some long-distance shots. Could it have worked it in closer?
• During one period of the second half, Mexico was the team building up play while Brazil was restricted to long passes — not what you expect to see from the Brazilians.
• This was a good result for Mexico, but there is still a lot at stake in its final game.
• Brazil cannot be happy with how it played. The flair we associate with Brazilian soccer needs to return.
It has been a fun World Cup, and I’m looking forward to the next games. Soccer junkies gotta love it.
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid is writing for The Seattle Times throughout the World Cup.