The 2014 World Cup has provided a lot of excitement in Brazil. But for the Brazilian soccer team itself, the World Cup has been more trying than expected early on. After opening the tournament with a win over Croatia that they got a few lucky breaks on, the Brazilians hoped for an easier time against Mexico on June 17, yet were handed a 0-0 tie instead.
Brazil had most of the big chances in the match, yet Mexican goaltender Guillermo Ochoa stopped every one of them. He carried the Mexicans on their backs and broke the hearts of Brazil's fans in Fortaleza. The capper came in the 86'th minute, when Ochoa blocked a close header from Thiago Silva.
Both Brazil and Mexico are now 1-0-1 in the World Cup with four points each, topping Group A. Yet since Brazil won its first game against Croatia by 3-1, and Mexico defeated Cameroon by 1-0, the Brazilians have the tiebreaker in goal differential. However, controversial decisions shaped that on both sides, as Brazil got its game-winner over Croatia on a penalty kick that never should have been called, while Mexico had two goals disallowed against Cameroon.
If those calls had gone differently, Mexico might be in the driver's seat in Group A right now instead of the Brazilians. While Brazil may host the 2014 World Cup, home field advantage alone will not give it a sixth championship, as Mexico further proved.
As it stands, both the Brazilians and Mexicans are in a good place to get out of Group A, regardless of who is in first. Nevertheless, the June 18th match between Croatia and Cameroon may put pressure on them if it doesn't end in a draw. If Cameroon wins, it will be a point behind Brazil before facing the hosts on June 23, while a Croatia win will give it a chance to knock out Mexico by beating it on the 23'rd.
The Mexicans haven't given up a single goal in the World Cup thus far, while the Brazilians have bent without breaking. With the two favorites still on track on advance, Group A is going just as everyone expected it to so far, even with a few surprises along the way.