Sept. 12, 2007 – Brazil 3:1 Mexico (Att.: 67,584, Gillette Stadium record soccer crowd)
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The area’s Brazilian community arrived in numbers to support the Seleção, transforming the stadium atmosphere into a combination of Carnaval and World Cup.
“The headlines in Brazil said Brazil won the game `at home,’ ‘’ Revolution general manager Craig Tornberg said. “Eighty percent of the crowd was either Brazilian or they were dressed as Brazilians. Brazil has a certain cachet attached to it that captures the imagination of soccer fans – because of five World Cup trophies and a showcase style that is so unique.
“One of the emerging markets in New England happens to be Brazilian, because of the long-term Portuguese influence. There were also underlying stories. Immigration is at the national forefront and it is hitting this area directly. I heard from so many people that this was almost like Carnaval for people who really needed Carnaval.”
Gillette Stadium was scaled to seat 67,500, plus a standing-room section used for New England Patriots games. By game day, 65,000 tickets had been sold, and a 4,000 walkup was expected for the 8:30 p.m. kickoff. But organizers might have underestimated interest, and traffic enforcement struggled to accommodate the Wednesday night event. The traffic tieup problems were exacerbated by not having public transportation and drivers unfamiliar with Gillette attempting to pull into the first parking lots arriving from the north, instead of proceeding nearer the stadium.
Juan Carlos Cacho (43rd minute) opened the scoring off an Andres Guardado setup. Brazil, partly motivated by having been defeated, 2-0, by Mexico in the 2007 Copa America, equalized on a Kleber goal (45th) off a corner kick, then broke the deadlock on Kaká’s 79th-minute goal. Kaká capitalized after Rafa Marquez attempted a half volley clearance, mis-hitting as the ball failed to bounce off a dead spot on the imported grass surface.
Brazil started aggressively, Kaká and Ronaldinho going in hard enough to earn yellow cards from referee Baldomero Toledo, Ronaldinho for a foul on Marquez, his Barcelona teammate. Brazil coach Dunga protested after Toledo failed to caution Carlos Salcido, who had jumped to make a two-handed grab of the ball in the 81st minute. Dunga was red-carded by Toledo in the first minute of added time, and that would be only the first of Dunga’s downfalls at Gillette.
Dunga returned with the Seleção for a 2-0 upset loss to Venezuela, their first ever defeat against the Vinotinto, on June 6, 2008. Dunga’s last match in charge of Brazil was a 1-0 loss to Peru in the Copa America Centenario at Gillette Stadium on June 12, 2016.
9/12/2007 BRAZIL-MEXICO 3-1 at Gillette Stadium
BRAZIL: Julio Cesar; Alves (Maicon 61’), Edu Dracena, Lucio, Kleber (Josue’ 76’); Robinho (Julio Baptista 83’), Gilberto Silva (Gilberto 76’), Mineiro, Kaka’ (Afonso 83’); Vagner Love (Elano 56’), Ronaldinho.
MEXICO: Ochoa; Israel Castro, Rafa Marquez, Jonny Magallon, Salcido; Fernando Arce, Jaime Correa, Torrado (Landin 87’), Guardado; Castillo (Vela 74’), Cacho (G. Dos Santos 74’).
Referee: Baldomero Toledo. Goals: Cacho 43’, Kleber 45’, Kaka’ 79’, Afonso 86’. Red cards: Elano 82’, Dunga (Brazil coach) 91’. Attendance: 67,584.
TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY