Your daily World Cup tip sheet for who’s playing when, and what to watch for. We'll deliver a new briefing the evening before every game day, highlighting the can't-miss match and which players to watch.
Match of the day: Mexico vs. Brazil
Brazil has all the star power in this clash for first place atop Group A, but El Tri is the more intriguing story. Despite winning the gold medal for men’s soccer at the 2012 London Olympics, Mexico barely qualified for this tournament. Four different managers were used in a six-week span that saw the team’s struggles on the pitch become a national crisis. It is only here because the archrival United States did it a solid, beating Panama with two stoppage-time goals in a qualifier that granted Mexico one last shot to make it via a two-game playoff against New Zealand. With Miguel Herrera at the helm, the team went with an attacking lineup that won those games 9-3 on aggregate. A win over Cameroon to start the World Cup was a positive first step, but this match is the big test for Herrera’s men.
Catch up on yesterday's matches:
Player to watch: Mexico’s Giovani dos Santos
Once a budding starlet in the Barcelona youth system, he’s bounced all over the world trying to fulfill his potential. He’s only 25, but has already had stops at Tottenham and Ipswich Town in England, Galatasaray in Turkey and Racing Santander, Mallorca and Villarreal in Spain. He showed why he was considered a future star in Mexico’s opener against Cameroon, finding the back of the net twice. Too bad both were disallowed on blown offside calls. If Mexico is going to hang with uber-talented Brazil, it needs another strong performance from dos Santos.
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