Mexico (1-0-0) vs. Brazil (1-0-0), 3 p.m. (ET)
06/17/2014 8:10 AM
06/17/2014 8:23 AM
Fortaleza, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - After a fairly straight-forward opening victory last Thursday, host nation Brazil will shoot for its second straight win in Group A play against Mexico at the Estadio Castelao.
Brazil got its World Cup campaign off to a flying start last week, easing to a 3-1 victory over Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo despite a less- than-stellar overall performance.
The hosts fell behind early after a cross from the left flank by Ivica Olic that was miscontrolled by Nikica Jelavic, but the ball was directed home by Brazil defender Marcelo for the own goal.
Brazil remained patient despite the early hole and grabbed the equalizer in the 29th minute as Neymar ran onto a pass from Oscar following a giveaway in midfield and fired a low strike that trickled past Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.
The match then fully turned in the direction of Brazil when the hosts were handed a questionable penalty decision after Fred went down in the area under minimal contact from Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.
Neymar converted the ensuing spot kick to give Brazil the lead in the 71st minute.
Croatia pushed in search of a tying goal and came close on several occasions only to be denied by a few key saves from Julio Cesar.
But Brazil's day would not be ruined as Oscar wrapped up the affair in stoppage time, poking a home a shot from outside the box following a counterattack to hand the hosts the win by a flattering score line.
Neymar was thrilled with the result following the match.
"It was better than I thought," he said.. "I was hoping that we'd win, but to be able to debut in a World Cup with a brace is an unmeasurable joy."
Mexico is also looking for a second win in Group A after squeezing past Cameroon, 1-0, on Friday in Natal.
Miguel Herrera's side was hard done early in the match as two goals were disallowed, but they eventually found the only goal of the contest in the 61st minute.
Giovani Dos Santos, who had the early goals taken off the board, had a hand in creating the game's only tally when he split the defense and fired a low shot on goal that was stopped by Cameroon goalkeeper Charles Itandje, but Oribe Peralta arrived late to tuck home the rebound.
"Despite difficult circumstances, we managed to push forward and put on a nice display," Dos Santos said. "Playing at the World Cup is always a unique experience, and I'm grateful to the coach for the trust he placed in me. I feel good - I'm happy and motivated."
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