Six times in a row. That’s how many consecutive times Mexico has been eliminated in the Round of 16 at the World Cup. The task does not get any easier this time around as not only is Mexico coming off a heavy defeat at the hands of Sweden in their final group stage game but they are facing Brazil who have not failed to advance to the quarterfinals since 1990.
But here’s the thing. Mexico/Brazil games are usually tight, tense and enormously entertaining affairs. And while Mexico may have just lost heavily, they still have a very talented squad. Plus this Brazil team has been something less than the juggernaut that topped the South American table in World Cup Qualifying.
Former Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari once described Mexico as “the little pebble in our shoe,” which speaks to the competitive nature of the games between these two teams. With that in mind, here’s a look back at some of the recent meetings between the two.
June 7, 2015 – International Friendly – Sao Paulo
Brazil 2 – 0 Mexico
Possibly the least entertaining of the matches between the two, this game served as a Copa America warmup for both teams (Mexico being a guest team). Brazil totally dominated the game from start to finish. This game saw a fantastic goal from Philippe Coutinho that he scored from the goal line on the tightest of angles and a classic Brazilian counterattack that led to an easy tap in for Diego Tardelli to wrap it all up before halftime.
June 17, 2014 – World Cup – Fortaleza
Brazil 0 – 0 Mexico
The final score may have been 0-0 but make no mistake about it, this game was wildly entertaining. It had a cracking atmosphere with plenty of Mexico supporters in the Brazilian crowd. Nobody played better in this game than the goalkeepers however as both Guillermo Ochoa and Julio Caesar made a number of out-of-this-world saves causing Fernando Palomo of ESPN to wonder when there would be a statue of Ochoa erected in Mexico City.
June 19, 2013 – Confederations Cup – Fortaleza
Brazil 2 – 0 Mexico
Mexico never really stood a chance in this game. Brazil was rocking and rolling their way to their fourth Confederations Cup title. They demolished everybody along the way (winning all five games and winning four of those five games by multiple goals). This tournament was Neymar’s breakout party where he scored a sublime goal just ten minutes in and Mexico never recovered (not to mention that this tournament did not come at a good time for the Mexicans as their World Cup Qualifying campaign was in shambles). They doggedly held on at 1-0 until Jo put it away for Brazil in the 90th minute.
August 11, 2012 – Olympics – London
Mexico 2 – 1 Brazil
While technically a U-23 tournament (with a few over-age players sprinkled in), this was too big of a game to leave off this list. It did feature a number of players for each side who are currently in Russia (six for Mexico and three for Brazil) so there is a small degree of familiarity there. This was perhaps Mexican soccer’s greatest moment: winning an Olympic gold medal at Wembley against Brazil (who at the time had never won gold). Oribe Peralta bagged two goals — one in the first minute and then again in the 75th minute before Hulk pulled one back in stoppage time for Brazil. But it was too little too late and Mexico had a famous victory.
June 3, 2012 – International Friendly – Dallas
Mexico 2 – 0 Brazil
Played in front of a very pro Mexico crowd in Arlington, Texas, this was perhaps Mexico’s best overall performance against Brazil. A sublime chip goal from Giovani dos Santos and a goal from the penalty spot for Chicharito saw Mexico take a 2-0 lead into halftime. Brazil was never really able to get into the game and Mexico gave the world a small taste of what was to come a few months later at the Olympics.