PIURA, Peru, July 16 (Reuters) - Mexico, fresh from
their first competitive win over Argentina, will attempt to add another prize
scalp when they face Brazil in the Copa America quarter-finals on Sunday.
Mexico coach Ricardo Lavolpe has promised his team will take the initiative as
they bid to extend a unbeaten run against the world champions stretching back
six matches to 1999.
"We're going to try and attack, not just close up at the back and hand the
initiative to them," said the former Argentina goalkeeper.
Brazil have to make a 2,000-kilometre trip north to Piura for the match as they
pay the price for Wednesday's shock 2-1 loss to Paraguay.
The stunning defeat, against opponents fielding their under-23 team in
preparation for next month's Athens Olympics, cost them top place in Group C and
earned them the customary barrage of criticism back home.
Brazil will at least be happy to play at sea level rather than at 2,300 metres'
altitude in the Andean city of Arequipa, where their first stage matches took
"By not feeling the effects of the altitude, I think all the players will
develop their game better and the ball won't move as fast as it's been moving
here," said Brazil midfielder Renato.
Mexico have beaten Brazil four times and drawn twice since Brazil's last win at
the 1999 Copa America, although the world champions have fielded weakened or
under-23 teams in some of those games.
Carlos Alberto Parreira's team have rested top players such as Ronaldo,
Ronaldinho, Kaka and Roberto Carlos for the Copa but are still considered
serious title contenders.
Meanwhile, Paraguay will take Brazil's place against Uruguay in the southern
city of Tacna after pipping them for first place in Group C.
However, their young team might find the Uruguayans too experienced and wily on
Uruguay, who will be without captain Paolo Montero who has a groin strain, have
enjoyed a revival at the Copa after a poor run of results in the World Cup
qualifiers and are again playing with their famous tenacity.
Hosts Peru face Argentina in Chiclayo on Saturday and this time will try not
gift their opponents a two-goal lead as they did in their first stage matches
against Bolivia and Colombia. Peru fought back to draw 2-2 each time but are
unlikely to be let off the hook by Argentina.
This time, Peru will be without suspended striker Jefferson Farfan and captain
Claudio Pizarro, who is out of the tournament with a head injury.
Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano, who has become a fixture in the side at
the age of 20, is suspended and Fabricio Coloccini is standing by to take his
Colombia complete the lineup when they face outsiders Costa Rica in Trujillo on
Saturday in a match which pits Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto against his
Pinto took over just three weeks before the Copa, replacing Steve Sampson, who
resigned after his team scraped past Cuba on away goals in a preliminary round
World Cup qualifier.