Mexico bounced back to get their first win in the Revelations Cup Tournament by defeating favorites Brazil by a score of 2-1. It was a hard fought game with some controversial plays, but Mexico did enough to grab the victory and climb to first place of the tournament with four points. Mexico could now win the tournament with a win over the United States on Tuesday or with a tie if results between the Brazil vs. Colombia match benefit them.
The first half started with Mexico coming out with virtually the same lineup as the last match against Colombia. Ali Avila and Joshua Perez took the place of Jesus Hernandez and Bryan Gonzalez, while Emiliano Perez started at goalkeeper instead of Diego Reyes. Brazil started well and Mexico had to scramble various times to clear balls out before shots were taken by the South Americans. Matheus Martin had a good opportunity when the ball fell in the area, but his shot went well wide missing a good opportunity for Brazil. After a sliding tackle, Isaias Violante looked to have gotten hurt and needed medical attention. He wound up having to be subbed out for Josue Diaz. Then a great pass found Jonathan Perez, who got into the area and hit a left footed shot that deflected from a Brazilian defender and went past Brazil’s goalkeeper Mycael for the 1-0 lead. Brazil then got close when a cross into the area was just missed by Marcos Leonardo. After a couple of clashes, the game started to get chippy with the Brazilian side complaining constantly to the referee. A cross by Marcelo Flores almost got deflected into an own goal by a Brazilian defender. In the ensuing corner kick, a shot by Mexico forced Mycael to make a great save. Brazil continued to push for the tying goal, but Mexico did well in defending and were able to take the lead to halftime.
The second half started with Mexico hoping to maintain their lead by subbing out Christian Torres for Bryan Gonzalez. They would fail to do so, as minutes after the start of the second half a cross into the area was volleyed into a bicicycle kick that hit the post and bounced back into the area and as two Mexican defenders watched, Werton went past them and took advantage by shooting the ball past Perez for the 1-1 equalizer. Minutes later Martins got into the area and forced Perez to make a great save. After a long ball, Jonathan Perez was able to lower it and get a cross that forced Mycael to make a save. Mexico then subbed out Ali Avila for Jesus Hernandez. Brazil subbed out Keven Duarte for Weslley Pinto. Then after a great cross into the area, Brazil failed to notice Marcelo Flores getting into the area and with a great header scored past Mycael for the 2-1 lead. The Brazilian coach started to protest and got a second yellow card meaning he was out of the match. Despite that, Brazil kept protesting a supposed foul that replays showed was committed by a teammate. Brazil came close with a shot that was deflected by a Mexican defender into the arms of Perez. After a cross from a corner kick, Mycael got into the ball but also hit Jesus Hernandez, which earned a yellow card and started a scuffle in which Hernandez was also yellow carded. The match continued to get chippy, and after a couple of close clearances by Mexico from their area were followed by harsh fouls by Brazil. Mexico had a good chance when an open pass found Flores, but his shot from inside the area went wide. Brazil responded with a volley into the area from Welton that went right to Perez’s arms. Mexico subbed out Marcelo Flores and Jonathan Perez for Karel Campos and Dagoberto Espinoza. Brazil subbed out Welton and Lanza for Matheus Nascimiento and Luis Soares. Mexico had a chance after Brazil lost the ball and from almost half line, Salvador Mariscal sent a lob over the goalkeeper but also wide. Mexico was able to hold on and get the victory for their first three points in the tournament.
Although at times they suffered, Mexico improved from their opening scoreless draw against Colombia. They looked more solid defensively and faced a Brazilian team that had crushed the United States in their opener by a 4-0 score, so they were constantly tested for 90 minutes. Marcelo Flores continues to be the standout player, although he got help by players such as Jesus Hernandez, who improved a lot after a disappointing first match. Mexico will now play for the title against current last place United States. The United States would need a genuine miracle to get the title, as they come with only one point and -4 goal differential, which means they are all but eliminated from contention. Meanwhile a win will give Mexico the title and although a tie could also give them the title, they would need a combination of results from the other match between Brazil and Colombia. But a loss against the United States guarantees the title for either Brazil or Colombia because of goal differential and with the United States being the biggest rival and days after giving Mexico a painful loss in the World Cup Qualifiers, nothing would be better for this US team than to cost Mexico silverware. Mexico must prepare itself well enough to not make it happen, and give the U20 process a great start in front of their home crowd.