In a match that broke several records than just the points bank, Guillermo Ochoa helped Mexico bring the hosts, Brazil’s world wide record of ten match winning streak to a screeching halt when the Group A teams met in their second group matches at the Estadio Castaelao on Tuesday.
The match stared off with the announcement of the team which revealed that coach, Luis Scolari had left out Hulk from his starting line up for the day, meaning that the home team’s midfield would be commanded by none other than Gustavo, Ramirez and Oscar. In its turn, Mexico’s surprise was that they had left out Javier Hernandez for the second match running.
The host started attacking from the word go in a bid to secure their spot in the next round of the competitions. In the tenth minute, a great run from Oscar, which was followed by a brilliant cross, found Fred unmarked at the near post. His effort, which hit the side netting, had half the stadium on their feet celebrating. However, it was not to be. The onslaught was kept on and about halfway in the first half, Neymar rose high above his markers to try and head home a cross from Alves. Ochoa scrambled to desperately push that effort out of play. Not to be outdone, Mexico also mounted serious attacks on their opponents and were nearly rewarded with a goal in the fortieth minute when, out of the blue, Vazquez let loose a screamer from outside the box which, after bouncing, just shaved Ceasar’s far post.
In the second half, it was Neymar again who was on everyone’s lips as he really had a go at the Mexican goal with all that he had. First it was a free kick in the 60th minute and a red hot left footer in the 68th minute. In each of these cases, Ochoa was equal to the task and nobody could have been happier than his Mexican supporters and bench with his antics. He was called on again to make another save five minutes from full time as, from point blank range, he stopped a certain goal from Silva’s head. Great stuff. About a minute to the end of full time, Marcelo was lucky to escape the wrath of the referee within the box area when he allowed himself to tumble under very little effort from Jimenez. Luckily for Mexico, the referee did not buckle under the pressure of the home crowd and give a penalty.
This was a relatively clean match with only three cards issued by the Turkish referee. Ramirez, Thiago Silva, Aguilar and Vazquez were cautioned by the referee and shown the yellow card.
There was a crowd of just over sixty thousand spectators.
Results of the other matches are:
Group H Belgium 2 Algeria 1
Group H Russia 1 South Korea 1