Heroics from Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa have denied Brazil a 2014 World Cup victory at Esataido Castelao in Ofrtaleza this morning.
Brazil went into the clash with Mexico as dominant favourites, but were unable to get on the scoresheet; with Ochoa showing incredible reflexes to deny Brazilian superstar Neymar on a number of occasions.
Just like in their opening encounter with Croatia, Brazil got off to a slow start and it was Mexico that had the best of the opening exchanges, but were unable to create any significant chances despite midfielder Andreas Guardado getting behind Dani Alves on a couple of occasions.
Neymar forced the first of many saves from Ochoa in the 24th minute and the Barcelona superstar looked dangerous every time he was on the ball, but did not receive much support from his fellow Brazilian attackers; with Fred failing to have any impact on proceedings.
Brazil were slow out of the gates, once again, in the second half and it was Mexico that looked the most likely to break the deadlock in the first twenty minutes of the second half before Brazil took control of the game at the 65 minute mark and finally started to string some passes together.
Neymar continued to trouble the Mexican defense, but was constantly denied by Ochoa and in the final ten minutes of the contest it was Mexico that were pushing forward chasing a victory and had a number of shots sail narrowly over the bar.
A victory would have sent Brazil straight into the second round of the 2014 World Cup with a game to spare and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he was disappointed by the flat performance of his side.
“It wasn’t a good result, a victory would have qualified us,” Scolari said.
“We need to respect other teams.
“There was a chance here, a chance there and it was very tight.
“It wasn’t a question of us evolving or not and we’ve been playing this way 20 games.
“We are up against good teams; we need to understand that.”
Mexico deserved to come out of their 2014 World Cup meeting with Brazil with at least a point and manager Miguel Herrera said that he was happy with the performance of his side that is now well placed to qualify for the second round of the World Cup for the eighth tournament in a row.
“It was a very even match,” Herrera said.
“The team proved that we are ready for anything.
“We made a great game against a great opponent, its people and their stadium.”
Mexico are currently available at odds of $2.88 with Ladbrokes.com.au to beat Croatia in their final pool game on Tuesday, while Brazil are dominant favourites to move into the second round with a victory against Cameroon.
Brazil remain favourites in the 2014 World Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, but are now available at the longer odds of $4.50.