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Mexico’s Ochoa: Best game of my life

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Mexican Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the hero of the game in the 0-0 between host nation Brazil and Mexico at the Estadio Castelão, Fortaleza, Brazil. El Tri and the hosts played in their second game of Group A and remain as the leaders with four points apiece at the Brazil 2014 tournament.

Ochoa had a standout performance with four critical stops that prevented Brazil from piercing the Mexican net. The keeper has yet to allow a goal at the FIFA World Cup in the 180 minutes he's guarded his country's net.

“I have no doubt. This is the best game of my life,” Ochoa said at the FIFA mixed zone after the game. “Especially against Brazil, especially in a world cup where I have been able to demonstrate my abilities.”

The fans rallied behind Ochoa during his performance chanting his name in unison and cheering Mexico on. Ochoa was all over his goal area. A shot from Neymar came at full blast, but the Guadalajara native was there to stop the FC Barcelona star’s shot.

Minutes later it was David Luiz’ turn to challenge Ochoa. But the AC Ajaccio keeper closed the distance and cleared the Chelsea FC player’s attempt at opening the scoreboard.

Brazil was pushed into their half in the first minutes of the second half as frustration set in. But on a counter Neymar runs the ball and comes one-on-one against Ochoa. He fires, but Ochoa guesses the ball’s direction and denies Neymar what would have been his third goal in the competition.

Thiago had his shot against Ochoa, but again the Mexican keeper stopped the ball. In the 90th minute, a counterstrike by Paul Aguilar brought the hearts of the Brazilians to a standstill forcing goalkeeper Julio Cesar to keep the Mexicans off the scoreboard in the final seconds of the game.

Despite the heroics, Ochoa did not boast and credited his team as the winners of the match.

“The entire team did a great job,” Ochoa said. “We could have had a better result, but the draw puts us in the fight to win the group. We’re going to try to get the victory over Croatia.”

At this time Brazil remains the group leader on goal differential with a +2. Mexico has a +1 after their 1-0 victory over Cameroon in their opening game. At the Korea-Japan 2002 tournament, Mexico defeated Croatia 1-0 in their initial game.

“Croatia is as complicated a rival as any other team,” Ochoa concluded. “We’re not going to speculate the results. We’re going to try to win because, as we demonstrated against Cameroon and Brazil, we can play good football. We can be better than our rivals. That we can grow at the world cup. We’ve told ourselves that there are possibilities to go far and that is how we will hit the pitch.”

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