Ochoa stars as Mexico put the brakes on Brazil’s World Cup charge

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Formidable: Ochoa could not be breached as Mexico held Brazil to a goalless draw.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa sensationally kept Brazil at bay to earn Mexico a 0-0 in World Cup Group A in Fortaleza on Tuesday.

Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar twice came closest to breaking the deadlock in each half but both times was thwarted by point blank saves by man-of-the-match Ochoa.

The result pushed both sides a point closer to the last 16 as they now have a four-point lead over fellow Group A rivals Cameroon and Croatia, who meet in Manuas on Wednesday.

Mexico largely matched Brazil throughout a pulsating match, although the hosts created the more clear-cut openings.

Neymar had the first clear sight of goal on 26 minutes with a header from Dani Alves's pinpoint cross but Ochoa plunged to his right to save one-handed.

A minute from the break a clever chest control by centre-back Thiago Silva teed up Paulinho, but Ochoa rushed out to block his close range effort.

Ochoa was the hero again on 69 minutes after Neymar controlled a pass from Bernard on his chest and lashed in a near post shot that the goalkeeper scrambled behind.

Five minutes from the end, Ochoa showed stunning reflexes to parry Thiago Silva's bullet header from just five yards out.

Jose Vazquez, Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado came close for Mexico with thunderous strikes that just missed the target.

But their closest effort came from Raul Jimenez in the last minute as Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar just pushed his goalbound shot to safety.

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Fellaini and Mertens save Belgium blushes

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Super-sub: Fellaini came off the bench to equalise for Belgium.

Super subs Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens rescued World Cup dark horses Belgium in a come from behind 2-1 win over Algeria on Tuesday.

Algeria had taken a 25th-minute lead from a penalty by Sofiane Feghouli after he had been hauled down by Jan Vertonghen.

But Fellaini, who endured a miserable, goalless season with Manchester United, levelled with a powerful header in the 70th minute.

Ten minutes later, Mertens buried the second goal to give Belgium a winning start in a Group H which also includes Russia and South Korea.

– VIDEO: Sport360°'s World Cup show predicts Belgium v Algeria, Brazil v Mexico and Russia v Korea

Algeria stunned the fancied Belgians after Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen wrestled livewire Valencia striker Sofiane Feghouli to the ground.

Vertonghen was yellow-carded while Feghouli held his nerve to tuck a confident penalty beyond Thibaut Courtois in the Belgium goal. It was Algeria's first World Cup goal since 1986 and conjured up memories of their famous 1982 win over West Germany.

Belgium were poor in the first half and had to wait until the end of the first half for their first serious attempt on goal when Nacer Chadli was put clean through by Eden Hazard, but Chadli's effort was well-saved by Rais M'bolhi.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, who has never lost a competitive fixture as national team coach, took off the sluggish Romelu Lukaku.

On came Divock Origi and then Fellaini and the more muscular approach paid off. Fellaini headed in a pinpoint cross from Kevin De Bruyne's and 10 minutes later it was 2-1 as Mertens was left in too much space by the tiring Algerians and the Napoli man drove the ball home.

Another Fellaini header was tipped over by M'bolhi as Belgium finished the strongest.

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Sport360°’s World Cup show: Predictions for day six matches

17/06/2014
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