The 28-year-old Ochoa, who plays in France for AC Ajaccio, first thwarted Neymar's 26th minute header with a spectacular dive to his right and then again blocked Thiago Silva's headed attempt in the 87th minute to the huge groan of the sea of yellow-clad Selecao fans.
     
Superstar Neymar, who scored two goals in Brazil's 3-1 opening match win against Croatia, had plenty of the ball and made some threatening runs into the rival box under hot and humid conditions at Estadio Castelao.
     
But ultimately, the five-time champions failed to break down the stubborn Mexican defence and the seemingly impenetrable wall thrown around their goal by Ochoa. Mexico survived the grinding offence from Brazil and frustrated the hosts' march to the round of 16 qualification.
     
After Tuesday's draw, the second scoreless draw of this World Cup after Iran vs Nigeria yesterday, Brazil and Mexico occupy to top spot in Group A on four points each. The group, which also has Croatia and Cameroon as other teams, is now wide open.
     
Brazil dominated the first half with more possession and applied pressure mostly from the left through Marcelo, Oscar and Neymar trying to break dowm the Mexico defence.

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The first chance for Brazil came in the 14th minute with Marcelo breaking down and trying to get the ball across the Mexican box. Fred and Paulinho had half-chances, but neither could find the target.
     
Mexico sat back defending for most part of the first half but 24th minute saw Hector Herrera finding space to smash the ball towards the Brazil goal only to be tipped over by goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Neymar was denied a goal in the 26th minute as his header off a Dani Alves cross was palmed away by Ochoa diving to his right in one of the most fabulous saves in the World Cup so far.
     
Ochoa again denied Brazil another goal in the 43rd minute with another brilliant save. A Neymar freekick was chested down by Thiago Silva and there were three Brazilian players unmarked inside the box. Paulinho tried to lift the ball over Ochoa, but the keeper magnificently kept it out.
     
Brazil coach Filipe Scolari substituted largely ineffective Ramires at the right attacking side by Bernard in the second half but kept an out-of-sorts striker Fred to continue till the 67th minute before being replaced by Jo.
     
The first 15 minutes of second half saw Mexico attacking with some fine moves and Brazil losing momentum. Mexico had three fine long range efforts aiming to test Caesar but all of them flew above the bar.

BRAZIL VS MEXICO IN PICTURES
     
The momentum then shifted to Brazil and the yellow clad home supporters had a huge groan after Neymar's stinging left footer was again blocked by goalie Ochoa, the third spectacular save of the match.
     
A Jo strike from acute angle off a Marcelo pass in the 75th minute went wide as Brazil pressed frenetically for a goal.
     
Ochoa was at it again when he somehow was at the right position to block a Thiago Silva header off a Neymar free kick.

Brazil coach pleased with team despite draw

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was pleased with the team's performance although the Selecao failed to score in front of a well-organised Mexican team.

"In my opinion the team was at least better than what we played against Croatia. So the team is getting better and better," the 65-year-old coach said after his team was held to a scoreless draw by Mexico in their second World Cup Group A match on Tuesday.

"We are improving and we still have a way to go and we can play good quality football. Although we did not reach the result we expected, I was really happy with what I saw on the pitch," Scolari said.

"We have three or four very good opportunities today but they had a very good keeper," Scolari added, referring to Mexico's 28-year-old goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who produced a series of impressive saves in the match, including two promising opportunities from Brazil's star striker Neymar.

However, Scolari did not think the 22-year-old Barcerona player should be blamed and he also denied the claim that the whole team was relying too much on Neymar.

"Well, Neymar cannot win or lose on his own. He is part of the group and in the group he has the potential which is higher sometimes than the others," Scolari said.

"He can win or lose with the group. We will keep on working so that with or without Neymar we will be able to win," he said.

The 27-year-old Zenit St. Petersburg striker Hulk was on the bench on Tuesday and Scolari revealed it was Hulk himself who decided to rest in order to avoid any injury risk.

"He could have played and he decided to stay on the bench," Scolari said.

"So we decided to start with Ramires. We will be working with Hulk this week if he feels better, and if he believes the pain he is feeling is normal for any player, because exam showed he is OK. He can be in the pitch against Cameroon," he said.

Mexico fans celebrate 0-0 draw with Brazil

Mexico football fans have celebrated their 0-0 tie with Brazil at the 2014 Brazil World Cup on Tuesday.

The outcome of the game, played at the Castelao Stadium in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, may not help Mexico advance to the second round of
the tournament, but it won't hurt either.

Mexico still have to play Croatia on Monday to see if they can qualify for the next round. "It was fabulous, Mexico deserved to win," a grocery store manager in Mexico City said.

TV set in the middle of the shop so that the staff at the store and their clients could watch the game.

A clerk in the store described the match as charged with excitement. "It was a very interesting game, in which the Mexicans played on a par with the Brazilians," a woman, Matilde, said.

"Thanks to the goalkeeper (Guillermo Ochoa), Mexico fended off several goals. I felt really nervous whenever Brazil neared Mexico's goalpost and really excited whenever the Mexicans neared Brazil's," taxi driver Ernesto said.

"Mexico played an excellent game. I actually believed the national team was going to lose. This tie is in reality a victory, because Brazil continues to be one of the favorites to win this championship," said Federico, a security guard at a private company.

Sports commentators on major TV stations and news media also praised the team's goalkeeper, saying Ochoa's performance "was sensational" and dubbing him "Saint Ochoa.

"Thousands of fans gathered at Mexico City's main plaza to watch the game on a giant screen broke out in celebration.

Midfield problems for lacklustre Brazil
               
Brazil failed to win for the first time in 11 games with their own lacklustre midfield as much to blame for the 0-0 draw with Mexico as the inspired goalkeeping performance of Guillermo Ochoa.
               
Brazil started Tuesday's World Cup Group A match with a midfield trio of Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo, and Ramires, who started on the right in place of usual starter Hulk. Oscar played slightly further forward between the midfield and attack.
               
But Ramires was taken off at halftime and Oscar was also substituted before the end, while Paulinho looked out of sorts and was lucky to last the whole 90 minutes in Fortaleza.
               
Manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said he took Ramires off because "he's an impetuous player who had a yellow card and we didn't want him getting a red."
               
But he cannot have been happy with the way defensive midfielders Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho gave the Mexican attackers far too much space.
               
The Mexicans let loose with shots from outside the box on several occasions and while most of them flew over they were getting into dangerous positions.
               
"Brazil need to mark, cut down space and not even let Mexicans think they can take the game to Brazil," former Brazil player and TV Globo commentator Casagrande said midway through the second half.
               
"They're shooting from far out. They've been doing this since the start but they're doing it a lot more in the second half and they are getting a lot of space. The Mexicans are using the space well but Brazil aren't even getting in a position to shoot," he said.
               
Scolari agreed and said he was also having trouble convincing his own players to follow suit and let fly with long-range efforts.
               
"Sometimes we passed instead of shooting," Scolari told reporters. "I tell them they sometimes need to have a go, they need to believe in their shooting."
               
With a solid looking defence and the attacking trio of Neymar, Fred and Hulk, who had been nursing a thigh problem, appearing set, Scolari's dilemma ahead of the final Group A match against Cameroon in Brasilia on Monday is who to play in midfield.
               
Paulinho looks jaded after a disappointing first season in England with Tottenham Hotspur and Luiz Gustavo also struggled to make an impact against the impressive Mexicans.
               
He may not want to risk Ramires and a second yellow that would lead to a one-match suspension but he will surely be tempted to give a run out to either Willian or Fernandinho, two players whose English Premier League form last season helped them force their way into the squad at the last minute.

 (JPN/Agencies)

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