FIFA World Cup: Ochoa gifts Mexico scoreless draw against Brazil
Fortaleza (Brazil): Thanks to a series of impressive saves from their goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, a well-organised Mexico held the highly-favoured 2014 FIFA World Cup hosts Brazil 0-0 in the second round Group A match here Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Ochoa, who is currently a free agent after a three-year spell in French club Ajaccio from 2011-2014, came from nowhere to become the Man of The Match in front of a star-studded Brazilian squad, reports Xinhua.
Also View: FIFA World Cup: 14 legendary footballers in cup history
Ochoa's first shining point came 25 minutes into the first half. He palmed away a close-range shot from Brazilian superstar Neymar in the far post with a flying save, and that decisive save was just a start of a remarkable night for the goalie.
Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saves an attempt at goal during a Group A football match between Brazil and Mexico in the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Pic/AFP
In the 43rd minute Brazil were awarded with a long free-kick. Thiago Silva chested the ball down and Ochoa was left face-to-face with three Brazilian players and the goalie managed to deny Paulinho's chip shot with his right leg and keep the scoreline 0-0.
Paying much attention on their defensive line, the Mexicans' first real threat came in the 23rd minute when Hector Herrera's long shot flew high above the bar.
Throughout the first half, the Mexican team, known as "El Tri", only had four shots from outside of the area which all went wide while the hosts were six percent higher in terms of ball possession, with a total of nine shots and six of them on target.
In the second half "El Tri" were more active in their attacking and added four more shots in the first ten minutes.
However, the best opportunities were still created by the Selecao.
In the 68th minute Neymar brought down a cross in the box and lashed it towards the bottom right corner.
But Ochoa once again saved the team single-handedly as he blocked the shot with his body.
In the 86th minute, Brazilian skipper Thiago Silva met a freekick from Neymar in the centre of the Mexican penalty area and his thumping header was once again blocked by an invincible Ochoa.
"El Tri" could have wrapped-up a victory with a late winner but the powerful shot from Raul Jimenez was kept out by Brazil veteran keeper Julio Cesar.
Mexico ended Brazil's ten match winning streak.