“A performance for the ages”
Fortaleza, Brazil. The host team struggled during 90 minutes and was powerless to defeat CONCACAF so-called giants: Mexico. Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magaña (AKA “Memo” Ochoa), Mexican goalkeeper, performed brilliantly to keep a clean sheet but his teammates Oribe “Hermoso” Peralta and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (MUFC) could not score a single goal.
It was a frantic goalless match which was far from boring and left both teams progress to the next stage in suspense.
FIFA praised Ochoa’s performance as follows:
Mexico, who suffered through a disastrous qualifying campaign in the CONCACAF zone, were inspired against Brazil in Fortaleza and earned a 0-0 draw against the much-fancied hosts. The Estadio Castelao crowd was treated to one of the most entertaining goalless draws in FIFA World Cup™ history as Mexican goalkeeper Memo Ochoa put in a performance for the ages.
Midway through the half, Neymar was again denied by the spring-loaded Mexican keeper. The Brazilian ace brought down a cross from the left and hammered a half-volley at goal, only for Ochoa – currently without a club – to fly to his left and push away the effort. It was turning into a historic performance for the Mexican, who was left out in the cold for large swaths of the qualifying campaign, and his reflex save from Thiago Silva in the dying moments was the pick of the bunch. The bushy-haired custodian was rightly swamped by his team-mates at the final whistle. FIFA.com.
The BBC deemed Ochoa’s game as excellent:
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side were again well short of their best in a cauldron of an atmosphere in Fortaleza. Neymar and captain Thiago Silva had the best of Brazil’s chances but were denied by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who was excellent throughout.
And it was Neymar, who else, who had the best of the early chances, rising high at the back post to head Dani Alves’ cross powerfully towards goal. Ochoa saved Mexico, not for the last time, throwing himself to his right to tip the ball to safety.
He made another vital save with half-time approaching, spreading himself to smother a close-range stab by Paulinho, after Silva chested on a free-kick. Ben Smith.
The Telegraph also acclaimed Ochoa:
The secret is out. Just like the Emperor’s new clothes, the Brazil team of 2014 is not what we have been led to believe.
But it required a Mexico goalkeeper without a club to deliver the brutal truth that a home victory in this tournament is a long way from becoming a reality.
Guillermo Ochoa, released by French club Ajaccio at the end of the season, produced four world-class saves as Mexico emerged from Fortaleza with a 0-0 draw. Mark Ogden.
More about Guillermo Ochoa:
He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico) on July 13th, 1985. He is 28 years old.
He is, currently and surprisingly without a club after having spent two seasons playing for A.C. Ajaccio (Ligue 1).
He is the only Mexican goalkeeper who has kept a clean sheet during two World Cup consecutive games (that is 180 World Cup minutes without conceding a goal).
Jesús “Chuy” Corona was the first-team goalkeeper until the exhibition matches Mexico played before this summer tournament. Corona sustained a minor injury during the first match against Israel.
According to sensationalist media, Espanyol and Atlético de Madrid are interested in signing him for next season. There are, however, no official reports on this matter.
June 17th, 2014.