Ochoa locks Brazil out

by | Jun 17, 2014 21:54

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa performed stunning saves to earn a 0-0 draw with Brazil, putting both on four points.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa performed stunning saves to earn a 0-0 draw with Brazil, putting both on four points.

This was a head-to-head for the top of Group A, as both the hosts and La Tri won their opening game. Ramires came in for the injured Hulk, while Mexico fielded the same XI that beat Cameroon 1-0. There was a touching moment before kick-off, as Neymar was moved to tears by the national anthem in Fortaleza.

Mexico had a strong record against the Selecao, winning four of their last 13 meetings and drawing two, including a spectacular 4-3 victory in the 1999 Confederations Cup Final.

It took a long time to get going and Julio Cesar got his hand to a long-range Hector Herrera strike, but Brazil finally threatened when Neymar’s bullet header was palmed round the base of the far post by Milan transfer target Guillermo Ochoa.

Fred also got his head to a corner, but it was no trouble for Ochoa to control. At the other end, a Jose Vazquez effort swerved just wide of the far stick.

Ochoa was again decisive before half-time, as Thiago Silva chested down a free kick and the goalkeeper made himself big to block the shot.

Straight after the restart a dangerous Brazilian counter was neutralised by a brave header to anticipate Neymar in the six-yard box.

However, El Tri went close twice in quick succession with fizzing shots from Giovani Dos Santos, Herrera and Vazquez.

Neymar curled a free kick wide and saw an attempt from point-blank range bounce off Ochoa’s chest, while substitute Jo flashed an angled drive across the face of goal.

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez came off the bench and immediately wreaked havoc, forcing Thiago Silva into a foul just outside the box. However, Mexico wasted it and ran a huge risk with Jo on the counter.

At the 86th minute Ochoa came to the rescue again with an absolutely stunning reaction save on Thiago Silva’s header from a Neymar free kick.

Marcelo went down in the box when feeling a Raul Jimenez hand on his shoulder, but the referee waved away penalty appeals. At the other end, Andres Guardado’s strike skimmed the bar and Julio Cesar dived to beat away the Jimenez half-volley.

Brazil 0-0 Mexico

Brazil: Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo; Oscar (Willian 84), Neymar, Ramires (Bernard 46); Fred (Jo 68)

Mexico: Ochoa; Rodriguez, Marquez, Hector Moreno; Aguilar, Herrera (Fabian 76), Vazquez, Guardado, Layun; Peralta (Hernandez 74), Dos Santos (Jimenez 84)

Ref: Cakir (TUR)

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