The hosts of the 2014 World Cup drew with Mexico in their second match in the competition. Even though there was no scoring, it was an exciting match that was highlighted by the great play by both teams goalkeepers. Brazil created some great chances, but Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa had the match of a lifetime and kept Mexico in it.
Both teams started the first half at a rapid almost nervous pace failing to get into any sort of a rhythm. Brazil started the match with a less attacking lineup, bringing in Ramires to replace Hulk. The hosts were the first to create any real chance when Fred was caught offside, but got off a good shot that barely missed. Mexico was not really able to find any sort of offense through the first part of the half, giving the ball away very frequently. It became a very physical match, and that seemed to favor Brazil, because Mexico failed to create any chances early on but was able to grow their confidence as the half wore on. El Tri’s best player in the first half was their keeper Ochoa, who had two great moments in the opening half when he made a great save to keep out a Neymar header, and when he was able to bail out his team on a broken play that fell right at the feet of David Luiz in front of goal, just before the end of half.
Mexico found their game in the second half and began to gain confidence in possession and create some good opportunities. Brazil definitely came out of half time slow and were forced to defend, but picked up their pace as the half wore on. The hosts started to really put pressure on Mexico around the 60th minute, when the game really opened up. When Jo replaced Fred the pace of Brazil’s attack really picked up, and Ochoa made more great saves for Mexico. The tension in the Fortaleza stadium grew palpable as the game continued with no score even with all the good chances being created by both teams. A great chance came for the hosts near the end of the match when Neymar’s free kick found Thiago Silva in the six-yard box, but Ochoa turned his header away brilliantly. Mexico was able to answer with two great chances near the end, one that went just over the bar and another that was kept out by a great save from Cesar.
There are matches that play out to a 0-0 draw that fans come away from thinking the teams could have done more to score, this was not that type of match. Both teams were going after goals, but could just not find the back of the net. This result really opens up the group now with Mexico and Brazil both atop with four points, with the slight edge going to Brazil who are ahead on goal differential. The next match will be crucial with Brazil facing Cameroon and Mexico playing Croatia.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius