Tussle: Brazil defender Marcelo, left, vies with Mexico’s forward Raul Jimenez during the goalless draw between Brazil and Mexico in the Castelao Stadium, Fortaleza. *AFP photo
Tussle: Brazil defender Marcelo, left, vies with Mexico’s forward Raul Jimenez during the goalless draw between Brazil and Mexico in the Castelao Stadium, Fortaleza. *AFP photo
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Brazil 0

Mexico 0

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa produced the ‘game of his life’ to deny  Brazil in yesterday’s Group A clash.

However, the hosts were again unconvincing as they struggled to live up to expectations in Fortaleza.

Neymar and captain Thiago Silva were both thwarted well by Ochoa, who was his side’s star performer.

But Mexico were no shrinking violets and had chances of their own in a high-tempo match that belied the goalless end result.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said: “Mexico had great physical strength and ball work, but we had chances in both halves.

“In the end, 0-0 is not a good result, but it mirrors what the game was. The team has been good, but we are also facing selections of good quality. It is not a good result but you have to respect your opponents, who are very good.”

Ochoa played a blinder but was relieved his side escaped with a point, which leaves them in with a chance of topping the group. “It was very difficult, and I’m delighted to leave the field with the zero on the scoreboard,” he said. “It was the game of my life.”

Earlier, Belgium had to come from behind to beat Algeria 2-1 in their Group H opener. The much-fancied Belgians looked uninspired for much of the match and it was only the introduction of Marouane Fellaini off the bench that saved the day.

Algeria had taken the lead when Jan Vertonghen fouled inside the box and Sofiane Feghouli converted the spot kick in the 24th minute. Fellaini equalized with 20 minutes left before Dries Mertens slammed home in the 80th minute.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said: “It was a tough match but we were patient throughout and at the end we were rewarded.

“We stayed calm after doing a small mistake in the first half. We got a new momentum. We saw that Algeria were getting more and more tired. At half-time, people were a bit down, but I said ‘don’t worry, we will score and we will change totally the match’.” 

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic said: “It’s a major disappointment. I would have liked to have a couple of tougher and more resilient players to resist their attacks but I don’t have much of a choice.” n