Memo's miracle save right out of Banks' book: experts

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the toast of Mexico after frustrating Brazil's much-vaunted attack with an outstanding display in a 0-0 draw in World Cup Group A on Tuesday.

Ochoa, known as Memo by his team-mates, stood tall to deny Paulinho, Neymar and Thiago Silva, blocking eight attempts on the goal to the delight of thousands of ecstatic Mexicans in the Castelao arena.


“I believe this was the best match of my life because this was a World Cup game and this is very important,” Ochoa said.

“We have to move on, celebrate with my team-mates and my family, but move on because the path is still long. Thank God I made those saves and now it's time to keep on working.”

One of Ochoa’s saves was so breathtaking it was instantly compared to the mythical save that Gordon Banks made to deny Pele at the 1970 World Cup.

The connection gained credence after Ochoa pulled off the physics-altering stop against Neymar, who has been talked about as the next Pele for quite sometime.

Neymar climbed well and directed his bullet header towards the bottom left corner but Ochoa, who moved like a rubber band all night long, pushed it wide with an incredible reflex save.  Mexico coach Miguel Herrara was fulsome in his praise of his keeper.

“I don't know whether I can think of another goalkeeper in memory...someone who has done what Memo did today,” Herrera told a news conference.

“Memo today had high-level saves, gave the certainty to the team that we needed and gave confidence that we're well covered.”

Ochoa, who has played for French club AC Ajaccio for the last three seasons but is currently listed as a free agent, was named man of the match.

“I didn't like the Mexican goalie,” Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari joked to reporters.

“He did very well, he was spectacular. The defences he did were spectacular.

Calm, tranquil, he knows how to play, is well positioned.

“I think he really was the best player in the match and Mexico has a very good quality team.”

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