'Jesus' Ochoa saves as Mexico hold Brazil

Last Updated 18 June 2014, 06:07 IST

Guillermo Ochoa threw up an impenetrable shield around his goal as stubborn Mexico frustrated World Cup hosts Brazil to earn a 0-0 draw yesterday.

The Mexican goalkeeper pulled off an incredible diving stop from a Neymar header and a series of other extraordinary saves, holding up Brazil's march toward qualification from Group A.

The 28-year-old, who has no club as his contract with French club AC Ajaccio has ended, did a lap of honour around the Fortaleza Castelao Stadium after one of the great World Cup goalkeeping performances.

Basketball hero Kobe Bryant hailed "OCHOA!! Incredible" in a Tweet within minutes of the game ending. Ochoa's wikipedia page was hacked to hail him as "the Mexican Jesus after his performance against Brazil."

"Is that the greatest match of my career? Without a doubt," a delighted Ochoa said.
"It's the highlight. Playing in a World Cup, against Brazil, in Brazil, and not conceding a goal? It's definitely the best highlight."

The precious draw left Mexico level with Brazil on four points from two games.

While Ochoa deservedly grabbed the headlines, Brazil finished the game relieved to have earned a point.

Mexico had several late chances to score a shock upset, with Brazil grateful to their own goalkeeper Julio Cesar for keeping the match goalless. The draw maintained Mexico's impressive recent record against Brazil following their shock victory in the final of the London Olympics football tournament in 2012.

The result leaves Group A finely balanced. Brazil face Cameroon in their final match while Mexico play Croatia.

(Published 18 June 2014, 06:07 IST)

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