Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2014 Contents A67
Monday, June 16, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
TERESOPOLIS---Brazil plays its second
match of the World Cup against old rival
Mexico tomorrow, hoping another victory
will be enough to secure a spot in the second
round of the home tournament.
After a difficult 3-1 win against Croatia in
Thursday s opener, Brazil has a chance to
advance to the round of 16 by beating the
Mexicans in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.
Mexico also started with a victory, beating
Cameroon 1-0, and will similarly be looking
to advance from Group A.
The winner of Tuesday s match will be
guaranteed a spot in the next round if
Cameroon and Croatia draw their match on
Wednesday in the jungle city of Manaus.
"We know it s going to be another difficult
match," Brazil playmaker Oscar said. "It could
decide which team advances to the next
round, so it will be like a final again. We
know that it will be tough."
The Latin American rivals have met several
times in the last few years, with Brazil winning
in the Confederations Cup last year and Mex-
ico coming out on top in the final of the 2012
Olympics, a result that kept a Brazilian team
led by Neymar and Oscar from winning the
nation s first gold medal in football.
"That one especially hurt, it was a title
we didn t have," Oscar said. "We know Mexico
has a very good team. It has always created
difficulties for Brazil and I m sure it won t
be any different this time."
Coincidentally, the Confederations Cup
match was also
played in Fort-
aleza, and was
also the second
game of a group
stage. Brazil won
2-0 with goals by Neymar and Jo.
Mexico has won seven of the last 15 match-
es against the five-time world champion,
including two of the last four.
"Every match against Mexico is difficult,"
Brazil defender Henrique said. "They have
players with a lot of quality. That is always
One of these quality players is Giovani dos
Santos, who had one of his best performances
with the national team in the opener against
"I m happy with how the team has been
playing collectively," Dos Santos said. "I think
we are all understanding very well what
(coach) Miguel Herrera wants us to do on
the field. I see a very strong group and I m
very happy because of that."
Brazil again will be led by Neymar, who
scored twice in the opener. But he also
received a yellow card in the match in Sao
Paulo, and another would sideline him from
the final group stage match.
SANTOS---The city where
Pele rose to fame honored its
favorite son yesterday, cele-
brating the life and career of
the Brazilian football great
while his country hosted the
Hundreds of dignitaries were
on hand in the port city of San-
tos to toast the 73-year-old Pele
at the official opening of the
Pele Museum---a 4,000 square
meter complex inside the city s
old town that cost about $22
million and houses more than
2,500 items related to his career,
including trophies, jerseys and
images of him with world lead-
ers and celebrities.
Considered by many to be
the greatest footballer ever, Pele
rose to stardom at Santos FC,
where he played between 1956
and 1974. During that period
he also led Brazil to three World
Pele rode into the ceremony
on a tram and was greeted by
wild applause. Visibly emotion-
al, he said the museum was a
"dream" and that he was proud
to represent the city and his
"In 1958 (Brazil s first World
Cup victory) no one knew Brazil
and today everyone s here at
the inauguration of my muse-
um," he said at the podium.
"When I played in the 1958 Cup
nobody knew Brazil, now we re
getting the Cup of all Cups and
all eyes are on us here."
To this day, he remains a
national hero. He is also a suc-
cessful businessman and a
United Nations goodwill
Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff was supposed to
attend the ceremony Sunday
but had to cancel at the last
A recorded video address was
delivered instead, followed by
a video tribute that included
Pele s career highlights.
Like other World Cup-related
events, protesters awaited out-
side the barricaded compound.
They delayed the dignitaries
and their chants could be heard
throughout the ceremony as a
series of politicians took the
RECIFE---It seemed like a perfect way to
redeem a half-year of frustration.
The roar Japan s star striker Keisuke
Honda let out after putting his team ahead
against Ivory Coast in the 16th minute with
a beautifully poised left-footed strike
appeared to be a release from the derision
he suffered this year in his new role as AC
Milan s No 10.
Honda came to the World Cup with
something to prove---and the goal he scored
showed he still has the lethal touches that
made him such a presence with his old club
CSKA Moscow. For Japan, it was a shame
that the rest of the team couldn t find the
inspiration that inhabited their talismanic
player. Ivory Coast kept muscling forward,
and something had to give for a Japanese
side that showed uncharacteristic sloppiness
in its passing. Two strikes early in the second
half gave Ivory Coast a 2-1 lead that they
kept till the final whistle.
Japan s other star---Manchester United s
Shinji Kagawa---was particularly ineffective
on Saturday. Anemic in attack, he sprayed
passes early in the first half and gave away
chances that Japan was lucky not to be pun-
But Japan can find a measure of conso-
lation in the fact that their best player
appears now to have found his form just in
time for football s greatest stage.
If the Asians can regroup from defeat in
their first match, they still have an outside
chance of getting through to the knockout
stages. Two victories would put them
through, and they have the talent and the
depth to beat their next opponents Greece
The Players Corner
Hulk leaves Brazil practice
Brazil striker Hulk left a training session due to
a muscle injury in his left leg yesterday but said
he expects to be fit to play Mexico on Tuesday in
his team's second World Cup match.
Hulk practiced for less than 15 minutes before
leaving the field. He said the injury wasn't serious
and "hopefully" it wouldn't keep him from playing
in the next match.
"I felt a small discomfort and decided to leave
as a precaution," Hulk said. "I was already thinking
about the next match, it's only two days away
and in the World Cup you don't want to miss any
match. I hope to be ready so I can help the na-
tional team again."
Hulk said he had the injury before the opening
win over Croatia, when he was replaced late in
the match, and felt it again after a few shots on
goal on Sunday."
Buffon, De Sciglio still injured
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and fullback
Mattia De Sciglio are still injured and it's not clear
whether either will return in time for Friday's
World Cup match against Costa Rica.
Italy physician Enrico Castellacci says "I really
can't offer a precise prognosis. It's going to be
from day-to-day whether they play or not."
Both players missed the 2-1 win over England
Buffon hurt his left ankle and knee slightly dur-
ing the final pre-match training session and De
Sciglio strained a leg muscle.
Castellacci says that for Buffon he is "opti-
mistic for a fairly quick recovery," while De Sciglio
is still not in condition to train.
Salvatore Sirigu replaced Buffon against Eng-
land and Giorgio Chiellini played for De Sciglio at
Spain's De Gea sidelined
Spain goalkeeper David de Gea has a leg injury
and could be out for the rest of the World Cup
The Manchester United goalie underwent med-
ical scans yesterday that revealed a leg muscle
strain, with the defending champions listing him
Spanish media reports suggest De Gea will be
sidelined for up to 10 days, ruling him out of the
final two Group B matches against Chile and Aus-
tralia. De Gea recently made his debut for Spain.
Captain and regular goalkeeper Iker Casillas'
poor play in Friday's 5-1 loss to the Netherlands
had given De Gea a possible chance to take over
the starting role.
Pepe Reina is the only other goalie available to
the world and European champions going into
Wednesday's must-win game against Chile at the
Van Gaal pondering change
Should you change a winning formula?
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is pondering
that question ahead of his team's next match
against Australia on Wednesday.
Van Gaal's decision to play a system based on
five defenders against Spain was a tactical mas-
terstroke as the Dutch humiliated the defending
world champion 5-1 in Salvador in their Group B
Preparing for the World Cup, Van Gaal hinted
he might revert to the traditional Dutch 4-3-3
system against an Australian team whose de-
fense can be tough to break down. The two sides
meet Wednesday in Porto Alegre.
Midfield playmaker Wesley Sneijder told the of-
ficial Netherlands supporters' site OnsOranje.nl
that "I would say 5-3-2 to continue building for
the rest of the tournament."
Brazil faces Mexico with
eyes on second round
Brazil's Neymar, right, Marcelo, centre, and
Fred, top, practice during a training session
at the Granja Comary training centre in
Teresopolis, Brazil, Saturday . AP PHOTO
Brazil inaugurates Pele Museum
Honda finds magic but Blue Samurai fail
Soccer great, Pele pose for a photo next to young players of the
Santos soccer team during the inauguration of the Pele Museum in
Santos, Brazil, yesterday. The Pele Museum exhibits his personal
collection, pictures, films, trophies and printed material about his
history as a soccer player and personality. AP PHOTO
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