Mexico target ending SWC hoodoo against Brazil
Juan Carlos Osorio (Getty Images)
Samara - Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio believes an
unfettered attacking approach can help El Tri beat old rivals Brazil on Monday
to advance to their first Soccer World Cup quarter-finals.
And if he gets a helping hand from Italian referee Gianluca
Rocchi when it comes to monitoring Brazil star Neymar, Mexico's Colombian coach
would not say no.
"I just hope for the benefit of the game and fair play
that there will be good officiating tomorrow," Osorio said when asked
about the Brazilian star's much-criticised antics in the group phase.
If Mexico play to their potential, they might not need help
from the match officials to beat Brazil at a World Cup finals for the first
time and qualify for their first quarter-final after failing in their past six
After sparking Germany's humiliating World Cup exit by
beating the defending champions 1-0 in their opener, Mexico are now threatening
Brazil's bid for a sixth World Cup.
Osorio's men may have finished their group campaign with a
3-0 defeat to Sweden which cost them top spot, but their performances
throughout, including a 2-1 defeat of South Korea, have been convincing and
strikers Hirving Lozano and Javier Hernandez have shone. The latter has dyed
his hair white for the game.
As well as a firm belief in his players' determination to
cause another World Cup upset, Osorio promised an all-out attacking approach against
a team he rates as the best in the tournament.
"Brazil is a great team, I'd even go so far as to say
they're the best team in the world, and that's because every one of their
players can play and pass the ball," said Osorio.
"They have players who can finish, play around the area
and they have three free kick specialists, as well as defenders who are tall
and can defend well.
"But we won't sit back and wait, Brazil's attackers are
too good for that to be the right plan.
"We will try to keep possession, we have midfielders
who are very skilled. It will be very tough, but we'll try to do so.
"And we will stick to our idea of having at least four
or five attacking players."
Osorio, who spent several years as conditioning coach at
current English Premier League champions Manchester City, said he was not
concerned about past history and the central Americans' recent inability to
reach the last eight.
"We don't talk about that to our players. We spoke
about the possibility of coming up against Brazil a few months ago, and here we
are," he added.
FC Porto midfielder Hector Herrera said: "We're
motivated by this great opportunity to play against one of the best teams on
"I think if we want to dream of winning the World Cup,
we have to be beat any opponent."
Osorio added: "Football is a game that always gives you
an opportunity to win, unlike rugby, baseball or basketball.
"Football is different. The winning attitude of any
team can, on the day, beat any team and win games."