Montevideo, Oct 13: Brazil and Argentina head into the second round of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday looking to get their campaigns back on track after opening round defeats which have left the South American giants in disarray.
The pall of gloom enveloping Brazilian
football since their
humiliation against Germany at the World Cup last year darkened last week when they were humbled 2-0 by Copa America champions Chile in Santiago.
Argentina, still struggling to shake off the disappointment of losing the Copa America final in July the team's second defeat in a major final in 12 months were stunned by a 2-0 reverse at home to Ecuador.
While there is still plenty of time in South America's marathon 2018 qualifying campaign for Argentina and Brazil to turn their fortunes around, the opening defeats have left both sides determined to halt the slide.
Brazil face Venezuela on Tuesday in Fortaleza, a game that in previous years would have been regarded as a straightforward assignment against opponents who have never qualified for the World Cup.
But in a sign of how far Brazilian expectations have fallen, midfielder Willian revealed on Sunday that victory by a single goal would be viewed with satisfaction.
"To be honest 1-0 would be a good result for us," Willian said.
"We want the three points. Football today
is different. All the teams are fit and well trained. Maybe in the past this game would have been a sure win for us, but today it's not like that we only beat them 2-1 in the Copa America after all," he added.
Willian insisted that Brazil had done enough to earn a result against Chile until they were sunk by late second half goals on Thursday. AFP