The Dominican Republic national team will take on pre-tournament favourites Brazil in their second fixture of the Under-20 World Cup.
The tournament, hosted in rival nation Argentina, began in ignominious fashion for Brazil, suffering a 3-2 defeat to Italy. That result upset expectations in Group D and Brazil now face an uphill battle to top the group.
Five-time U20 World Cup winners Brazil will be desperate to get back to winning ways against on Wednesday, but Ramon Menezes’ side will not have it all their own way against the Dominican Republic.
Last year the Dominican side made it to the final of the CONCACAF U20 championships, but were beaten 6-0 by a strong USA side in the final. One year on, can Los Quisqueyanos pull off an upset against Brazil?
Ahead of Wednesday’s game head coach Walter Benítez revealed that his team had studied Brazil’s opening game defeat to Italy. Brazil were the clear favourites before the tournament in Argentina kicked off but Benítez believes that they can be beaten.
Benítez said: “After the analysis of the first game we have made preparations for Brazil. We are going to show our offensive qualities, but we must be patient with the ball.”
“We know what they can do and that they will surely come looking for us,” he added. “They will pressure us and not let us play our game, we must have a balance both in attack and defence”.
Dominican defender Guillermo de Peña added: “We are very motivated even though it didn’t go well in the first game. We have a good group and team. We have a good attitude, we are no less than anyone else and we go into the game with humility.”
Forward Yunior Peralta was similarly forthright: “We are motivated because we are playing a World Cup for the first time.”
“Brazil will be a difficult opponent, but we are also going with everything. It will be a big game for us and for our country, it will be a historic day”.