Sunday 28 December 2014

Francisco Ochoa: "It was the game of my life"

Published 17/06/2014 | 23:01

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 17:  Neymar of Brazil reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 17, 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Neymar of Brazil reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Neymar of Brazil sings the National Anthem before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari of Brazil reacts as Neymar sits on the field during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Dani Alves of Brazil is challenged by Giovani dos Santos (L) and Andres Guardado of Mexico during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico makes a save during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Luiz Gustavo of Brazil, Marcelo and David Luiz sing the National Anthem before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Neymar of Brazil controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Brazil's Fred, right, reacts after missing a scoring opportunity on Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, left, during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico
A Brazilian fan poses with her national flag before the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico at the Arena Castelao
Thiago Silva of Brazil gestures toward Dani Alves during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Dani Alves of Brazil challenges Oribe Peralta (C) and Andres Guardado of Mexico during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Hector Moreno of Mexico is challenged by Neymar of Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Dani Alves of Brazil challenges Andres Guardado of Mexico during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
David Luiz of Brazil controls the ball against Hector Herrera of Mexico during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Marcelo of Brazil and Hector Herrera of Mexico compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Jo of Brazil (R) enters the game for Fred during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
A Mexican fan shows off his costume before the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico at the Arena Castelao
Neymar of Brazil and Francisco Javier Rodriguez of Mexico compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Mexico fans cheer during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao
Luiz Gustavo of Brazil lies on the field as Marcelo stands over during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico
Fans of the Brazilian football team arrive to watch a match on a giant screen in the 'Fan Fest' area in Porta Negro
Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico defends Paulinho and David Luiz of Brazil

Brazil midfielder Bernard believes that the 0-0 draw against Mexico in Tuesday night's World Cup Group A fixture was a good result despite a frustrating performance from the tournament hosts.

Mexico claimed a deserved point at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza as Brazil failed to hit their straps and looked a pale imitation of the side that defeated Croatia 3-1 in the tournament opener.

Mexico goalkeeper Francisco Ochoa was the star of the show with a series of good saves to keep the hosts out in a fantastic individual performance.

Shakhtar Donetsk winger Bernard revealed after the match that he thought the goalless draw, which left both sides on four points, was a good result for his side.

"What we made clear in the locker room is that the important thing is to win and the second is not to lose," the 21-year-old told Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

"We went into the game knowing that a draw would not be a bad result."

But Bernard felt that at times Brazil were not as confident on the ball as they could have been.

"I think these are situations [of nervousness in exchanging passes] that happen sometimes. We have the ability to be more quiet with the ball. It has been like that in the (Conderations) Cup. We found the pass but lacked the finishing touch."

Ochoa, who was named man-of-the-match, almost single-handedly earned his side a point with a series of fine saves, which Brazil striker Fred said included "at least four miracles."

Ochoa said: "It was very difficult, and I'm delighted leave the field with the zero on the scoreboard.

"It was the game of my life."

Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari was less than impressed with only a point against Mexico, though, even if he did admit that his side did not deserve anything more.

"Mexico had great physical strength and ball work, but we had chances in both halves," Scolari said.

"In the end, 0-0 is not a good result, but it mirrors what the game was. The team has been good, but we are also facing selections of good quality.

"It is not a good result but you have to respect your opponents, who are very good."

Chelsea midfielder Willian, who came on as a second-half substitute also hailed Mexico's performance before turning his thoughts to Brazil's final group game on June 23.

"The team played well, but Mexico had a great game too," he said.

"Now we have to continue training, playing well and think about the team from Cameroon now.

"It will be difficult. There are no easy games in the World Cup.

"When it comes to Brazil, everyone wants to play. Hopefully we will leave with a positive result."

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