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Jun 17, 2014

Mexico hail 'our saviour' Ochoa

Our ESPN panel of experts highlight the importance of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in Mexico's 0-0 draw with Brazil.

Mexico held on for a goalless draw against the powerful World Cup hosts Brazil on Tuesday, and they have their goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa to thank for the valuable point.

Ochoa just managed to keep Neymar from scoring in the 26th minute, with the Brazilian's header set to fly just inside the post when Ochoa 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, a second-half effort by Neymar and a close-range header by Thiago Silva in the 86th minute which produced a remarkable block at close range.

"He responded as we figured he would," said Mexico coach Miguel Herrera. "Three extraordinary saves. We tried to score and it went high and they had a couple of shots as well and couldn't score.

"But what I have seen gives me reason to remain calm. It is a key step in showing us that we are where we need to be."

Ochoa finished with six saves, the first Mexican goalkeeper to save that many in a World Cup game since Antonio Carbajal kept a clean sheet against Uruguay in 1966.

"Memo was our saviour," Mexico defender Rafa Marquez said after the match. "We put in all our effort, but we knew it was going to be tough."

Brazil and Mexico now each have four points in Group A after they each won their first games against Croatia and Cameroon, who play on Wednesday.

GK. Guillermo Ochoa -- Mexico
Guillermo Ochoa preserved a clean sheet by stopping Thiago Silva's late header on Tuesday.

Ochoa said he was satisfied with the draw.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult match," the goalkeeper said. "Brazil is always tough and in their home stadium. We knew they would give twice the effort but it is good point for us and good for us in this group."

When asked if it was his best performance of his career, Ochoa said, "I think yes. To hold the World champions to zero it isn't easy, I am happy with that.

"I think the shot I stopped with my head was the best of the three."

Herrera said El Tri were worthy of the point ahead of their final group-stage match against Croatia.

"This has the taste of a tie," he said. "Yes, it was a great match against a great rival in their home stadium and country but this shows what we are up against.

"It was a very equal match obviously they had the fans but we showed we are ready for what is coming."

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