Tuesday Jun 17, 2014. 22:53
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the hero of the day after denying the Brazil attack time and again in their 0-0 Group A, 2014 FIFA World Cup match at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza on Tuesday.
It was a slow start to the game with neither side creating many chances in front of goal early on.
Brazil saw most of the ball possession, but were frustrated by the Mexican defence that stood firm in the face of continuous pressure from the home side.
Still, despite seeing very little of the ball, Mexico had the first real shot on goal in the 24th minute when Hector Herrera let fly with a ferocious 22-yard effort, but his attempt was superbly tipped over the crossbar by Julio Cesar.
Two minutes later Neymar was only denied the opening goal by the brilliance of Guillermo Ochoa who produced one of the saves of the tournament.
Dani Alves whipped in a teasing cross from the right which Neymar met with a strong 12-yard header, the ball sailing into the bottom corner, but it was clawed out by the Mexican keeper at full stretch.
The next effort on goal only came in the 38th minute when Marcelo tried his lick from 20-yards out, but the Brazilians’ shot sailed inches wide of the post.
Three minutes later Jose Vazquez went close for Mexico when his shot form the edge of the box skimmed the wrong side of the post.
Brazil had the last say of the half a minute before the break when a right sided free-kick was chested into the path of Paulinho by Thiago Silva, but the former was magnificently denied from close range by Ochoa.
The half ended 0-0.
The start of the second half saw Mexico peppering the Brazil goal with long range shots and Vazquez almost opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a thunderous attempt, but his effort went inches over the crossbar with the Brazilian keeper well-beaten.
Two minutes later it was the turn of Herrera to let loose from 20-yards out, but his shot also sailed just over the target.
Brazil created their first opening of the second 45 in the 69th minute when Neymar brilliantly controlled a left wing cross from Bernard, bringing it down before firing goalwards from eight-yards out, but he was again denied by a fine stop from Ochoa.
Four minutes from time Ochoa came to Mexico’s rescue again when his cat-like reflexes denied Tiago Silva a point blank header after he met a right-side free-kick.
The match ended 0-0.
The result sees both teams on four points in Group A with Brazil still on top with a superior goal difference.