Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa turned in a sparkling individual performance as Mexico held hosts Brazil to a scoreless draw in a thrilling World Cup Group A encounter Tuesday evening at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza.
For both sides, the draw means only one point is necessary in their final group match to ensure progress to the knockout stages. Brazil will play Cameroon on Monday in Brasilia, while Mexico take on Croatia, simultaneously.
The result also means the loser of Wednesday's match between Cameroon and Croatia, if there is one, is out of the tournament.
Ochoa made six saves, per @NBCSportsSoccer, including a world-class stop in the first half to deny Neymar and another in the closing moments to keep out Thiago Silva.
The goalkeeper is currently a free agent, and his performance is likely to attract numerous club sides ahead of the beginning of the European season later this year—as noted by B/R's Jonathan Johnson:
The match got off to a lively start, with both teams eager to attack.
Brazil looked to have created a big chance in the 11th minute as Fred poked wide at the near post, but the striker had been ruled offside regardless. At the other end, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar tipped Hector Herrera's rasping shot over the bar in the 24th minute. The referee failed to spot the touch, though, and awarded a goal-kick to the hosts.
Two minutes later, Brazil carved out the best chance yet. Dani Alves crossed from the right for Neymar at the back post, where the Barcelona star directed a well-placed header on target. The breakthrough goal seemed inevitable, but Ochoa pushed the ball away at full stretch to keep Mexico level.
Before the break, though, Brazil had time for one more chance. But Ochoa came up with another fine save, stopping Paulinho from close range after Thiago Silva's chest-down inside the box.
from BR / www.FlagWigs.com