Ochoa excels as Mexico hold Brazil –

2375301_big-lndMexico, who suffered through a disastrous qualifying campaign in the CONCACAF zone, were inspired against Brazil in Fortaleza and earned a 0-0 draw against the much-fancied hosts. The Estadio Castelao crowd was treated to one of the most entertaining goalless draws in FIFA World Cup™ history as Mexican goalkeeper Memo Ochoa put in a performance for the ages.

The hosts’ first game in Fortaleza began at a high tempo, the frenzied action on the pitch matching the atmosphere and passion up in the stands. The game swayed from one end to the other in the early going as the Mexicans and Brazilians traded half-chances.

Mexico, hoping for a repeat of the Olympic final in Wembley Stadium two years ago, raised their game, bolstered by an opening-day win over Cameroon. The Brazilians were missing bulky striker Hulk, who pulled out of training yesterday with a muscle strain. The best chance of an enthralling opening period came from the sizzling Neymar. The fan favourite and two-goal hero against Croatia rose well at the back post to meet an inch-perfect cross from Barcelona team-mate Dani Alves. The young maestro leaped over Mexican icon and captain Rafa Marquez and sent his powerful header screaming toward goal, only to be denied by Ochoa. The Mexican keeper sprawled acrobatically to deny the effort after 26 minutes. via –

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