Mexico and Japan look to exit on a high

21 June 2013 08:47

There will be nothing but pride on the line when Mexico and Japan meet in Belo Horizonte.

With not a single point between them in Group A, both sides have had a disappointing time in Brazil, unable to overcome either the hosts or Italy in their previous two matches.

Japan perhaps have the most reason to be frustrated after a fine performance brought no reward in a 4-3 defeat to the Azzurri last time out.

Mexico meanwhile have fallen short of expectations so far, and that has brought pressure on coach Jose Manuel de la Torre.

A win against Japan would be the easiest way to answer those critics, but he is adamant the result will have no bearing on his future.

"Whatever the result against Japan, it won't lose me the support of my players or my bosses [at the Mexican FA]," he said on

"For the sake of our pride, we really want to win this game. We don't want to bow out without any points, particularly since our aims [for this competition] had been so different."

They may take encouragement from Japan's leaky defence, which has conceded seven times in two outings to leave them bottom of the group on goal difference going into the match.

Source: PA