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Mexico holds host Brazil to 0-0 draw at World Cup



By Tales Azzoni

FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) - Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made a series of outstanding saves to help Mexico hold Brazil to a thrilling 0-0 draw at the World Cup on Tuesday.

The result leaves both teams with four points each after two games in Group A, but Brazil is ahead on goal difference going into their decisive final matches. Croatia and Cameroon meet on Wednesday for their second games after both opened with defeats.

Ochoa's first remarkable save prevented Neymar from scoring in the 26th minute. The Brazil striker's powerful header looked set to fly just inside the post when the goalkeeper dived to his right to push the ball wide.

Ochoa also made three other difficult saves to keep the hosts from breaking the deadlock - a shot by Paulinho in the 44th, a second-half effort by Neymar from inside the area and a close-range header by Thiago Silva in the 86th minute which produced a remarkable block by the Mexico keeper.

After that, there was still time for a thrilling end to the game in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

The referee dismissed Brazilian claims for a penalty after Marcelo seemed to have been grabbed in the 88th minute. Mexico then had two great chances, first with Andres Guardado's shot over the crossbar in the 90th and then with an effort by Raul Jimenez that was stopped by Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar in injury time.

"In the end, the 0-0 mirrors what happened, it was a very hard-fought match," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "The draw wasn't a good result because a victory would have already allowed us to advance, but we need to be able to respect our opponent, which played very well."

A win by either team would have guaranteed a spot in the next round if Cameroon and Croatia were to draw in the jungle city of Manaus.

Brazil had won all three previous World Cup matches between the teams without conceding a goal, but the Latin American rivals hadn't met in the sport's showcase tournament since 1962.

It was an evenly balanced game at the Arena Castelao, with Mexico not allowing Brazil to take control. El Tri didn't play defensively and created chances throughout the match, especially with long-range shots by midfielders Hector Herrera and Jose Vazquez.

Brazil, playing without injured strike Hulk, turned up the pressure in the second half, but there was no getting past Ochoa.

He denied Paulinho just before halftime, blocking the midfielder's shot after a loose ball inside the area, and then got his body in the way of Neymar's drive from inside the area. In the 86th, he was there on cue to block Silva's powerful header from point-blank range.

Fans wearing Brazil's green and yellow colors were the majority as expected, but Mexicans took over large seating sections of the stadium and at times were louder than the local fans. Among those in the crowd of 60,342 was NBA star Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brazil, the only team to play in all 20 World Cups, has reached the second round every time since 1970. Mexico is seeking to advance for its sixth straight appearance in the last 16, where it has been eliminated in the last five World Cups.

Mexico had won six of the last 10 matches, including in the final of the 2012 London Olympics, keeping the Brazilians from earning their first gold medal in football. In their latest match, Brazil won 2-0 in last year's Confederations Cup, also in Fortaleza and also in the second match of the group stage.

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mygailbaby June 17 2014 at 6:31 PM

To my fellow Americans talking about how boring Soccer is, WHAT other event or Sport in the Universe generates the attention, emotion, numbers, money etc that Soccer produces the world over? None. Only the Olympics come close.

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10 replies
siquisiri June 17 2014 at 8:33 PM

A perfect example of why so many people around the world consider Americans tw--s.. unbelievable arrogance.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
2 replies
STEPHEN siquisiri June 18 2014 at 9:53 AM

Soccer is a stupid sport . If the rest rest of the world dose not like the USA then the can kiss our A**

Flag Reply 0 rate up
brewtristy siquisiri June 18 2014 at 9:54 AM

You are a perfect example of generalizing a group of people! where are you from?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
mqats June 17 2014 at 5:51 PM

Nice, effective photos. World Cup is an unparalleled spectacle, and fortunately, more and more people in this country are beginning to appreciate it. Open your eyes, your hearts, your minds!

Flag Reply +13 rate up
1 reply
brave1b3 mqats June 17 2014 at 7:44 PM

BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!open your eyes!!!!!!!!!!...BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Most over rated sport in THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
9 replies
psallidas June 17 2014 at 9:54 PM

TO ATHEISTRFAKE YOU NEED SOME EDUCATION (SOCCER SUCKER ) THEY CALL IT ONLY IM AMERICA THE REAL NAME IS FOOTBALL THE REAL FOOT BALL . NO THE AMERICAN HAND BALL FOR YOUR INFORMATION AMERICA NEEDS SOME HOW TO WAKE UP AND CORECT SOME THINGS .LIKE CALLING THAT WOOD GAME BASEBALL A WORLD SERIUS CHAMPIONS .TO CALL THAT. YOU HAVE TO PLAY TEAMS FROM AROUND THE WORD I HOPE THAT TELLS YOU SOMTHING .BY THE WAY I AM AN AMERICAN TO.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
kathy June 17 2014 at 7:27 PM

People who don't like the game yet feel forced to voice their opinions. I guess because they think someone might care?

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
gregnugent June 17 2014 at 7:10 PM

Worst game ever, no scoring, boring.

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3 replies
Kate June 17 2014 at 6:02 PM

Wow. Ochoa is good, no doubt about it. But then Mexico usually produces a pretty great team-- they're nobody to underestimate.

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1 reply
Nixa Reyes Kate June 18 2014 at 5:28 AM

@kate--- Thank you Kate your so right!!!

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psallidas June 17 2014 at 10:27 PM

THE REAL ISUE IS ONE AND ONLY ONE. THE REAL FOOT BALL IS TAKEN OVER IN AMERICA (SOCCER) IM SOO HAPPY TO SEE EVERY GRAS FIELD NOTHING BUT SOCCER POSTS ALL OVER THE U S A .AND EVERY SHOOL NOTHING BUT SOCCER FIELDS FUUUUUUUULLLL WITH KIDS FROM AGES FOUR AND UP .
I AM VERRY PROUD OF THIS. GOOOOOOOOOW AMERICA KEEP ON GOING THATS THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO KEEP THE KIDS OF THE STREETS LOVING THIS GAME IS LOVING THE GOOD WAY OF LIFE SHARING .

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
Nixa Reyes psallidas June 18 2014 at 4:45 AM

PSALLIDAS_YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOO RIGHT!!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
kerouac7 June 17 2014 at 7:12 PM

My take soccer and the USA is that "the better we get at it, the closer we move to becoming a Third World country." YES, I am serious.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
cutz kerouac7 June 17 2014 at 10:04 PM

lol, bet you were an athlete in school, and probably got a medal/trophy for participation. Im just so sorry that you can be so ignorant, watch out the aliens are coming,

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1 reply
jbrownbbac cutz June 17 2014 at 10:17 PM

what do you mean COMING they're here.

Flag 0 rate up
Gordon June 17 2014 at 10:20 PM

Actually called Association Football. Boring is baseball, golf and cricket. Rugby is never boring, after all REAL MEN (and sometimes women) DON"T WEAR PADS
Cheers

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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