FORTALEZA, Brazil -- After falling to Italy in its Confederations Cup opener, picking up points against Brazil on Wednesday is all that matters now for Mexico.
A loss to the host, combined with an Italian victory over Japan, would end El Tri's ambition of advancing past the group stage.
The history between Mexico and Brazil must be taken into account before making any predictions. The six-time CONCACAF Gold Cup champion defeated Brazil 4-3 in the 1999 Confederations Cup final. In addition, it beat the five-time World Cup champion in the 2005 Confederations Cup group stage. And recently, Mexico got the best of Brazil with a 2-0 friendly win on June 3, 2012, in Arlington, Texas.
Mexican national team head coach José Manuel de la Torre said after the defeat that he was happy with his team's work and expects things to improve: "Of course the spirit is down some when we lose against any team. The effort was good with certain things and we will need to analyze them with each one of the players to correct and focus on the next game with Brazil."
That calm and confidence is starting to work its way into the players, who seem to be maintaining their nerves ahead of the next challenge
"I think the team is good and showing well from a football perspective," said defender Francisco Rodríguez. "I think out there we lack a bit of calmness when we have the ball and moving up to the front."
With Javier Hernández's goal in the first half, Mexico recovered a bit of their attacking form after an erratic spell in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches. The team is itching to return to the field as soon as possible.
Midfielder Gerardo Torrado sees it as a positive that they do not have to wait very much time until the next match.
"It's better to quickly play again, obviously there's less time to recuperate physically, but it's good that we are getting another chance to play and it will be important to be smart and not drive ourselves crazy to beat Brazil," said the Cruz Azul star.
This year, Mexico has posted only a single win in 10 games, but has drawn on eight occasions. Three points against the Brazilians at the Estadio Castelao are essential to lift the team mentally, as well as in the Confederation Cup standings.