Mexico Holds Brazil to Goalless Draw in World Cup Soccer

Photographer: Alex Livesey/FIFA via Getty Images

Neymar of Brazil is challenged by Francisco Javier Rodriguez of Mexico during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 17, 2014. Close

Neymar of Brazil is challenged by Francisco Javier Rodriguez of Mexico during the 2014... Read More

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Photographer: Alex Livesey/FIFA via Getty Images

Neymar of Brazil is challenged by Francisco Javier Rodriguez of Mexico during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 17, 2014.

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made four saves to help Mexico hold World Cup host Brazil to a 0-0 draw in their second game of the soccer tournament.

The Group A result in Fortaleza yesterday means both countries can still advance to the round-of-16 knockout stage with one group game left each. Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in its opening game, while Mexico defeated Cameroon 1-0.

“It was just the goalkeeper stopped us from winning,” Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told a news conference. “He made some spectacular saves.”

More on the 2014 World Cup:

The top two teams in each pool move on, with the winner of the group playing the runnerup of another. That could mean a match with defending champion Spain, the Netherlands or Chile for the Group A teams.

Also yesterday, substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens scored late goals to give Belgium a 2-1 comeback win against Algeria in Group H. Both goals were also scored by substitutes in the other Group H contest as Russia tied South Korea 1-1.

There are three matches set for today: Cameroon against Croatia in Group A, plus Australia-Netherlands and Spain-Chile in Group B.

Interactive Graphic: Bloomberg Visual Data

Interactive Graphic: Bloomberg Visual Data

In Fortaleza, Ochoa pushed Neymar’s downward header off the goal line, almost colliding with the post, and came off his line to block Paulinho’s shot.

Photographer: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Marouane Fellaini of Belgium, right, scores his team's first goal on a header past Rais M'Bolhi of Algeria during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group H match at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 17, 2014. Close

Marouane Fellaini of Belgium, right, scores his team's first goal on a header past Rais... Read More

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Photographer: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Marouane Fellaini of Belgium, right, scores his team's first goal on a header past Rais M'Bolhi of Algeria during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group H match at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 17, 2014.

Mexico defended resolutely and began to dominate possession in the second half when Jose Vazquez and Hector Herrera hit long-range shots just over the crossbar.

Willed on by most of the crowd of 60,000, which created a sea of yellow jerseys, Brazil retook the initiative in the last 20 minutes without managing to beat Ochoa.

Ochoa’s Saves

Ochoa, who went to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups without playing, kept out a 10-yard (nine-meter) shot from Neymar with his arm and, with about five minutes left, parried a goal-bound header by Thiago Silva.

“We go away happy because we got a result against the World Cup’s most successful team, the tournament favorite and the team playing at home,” Mexican manager Miguel Herrera told reporters.

Scolari said his team played “at least 10 percent” better than against Croatia. Some Brazilian fans in the crowd whistled at the end to show their displeasure.

“The result wasn’t what we wanted, but I’m happy,” Scolari said.

Mexican fans, some wearing oversized sombrero hats and wrestling masks, celebrated the draw.

“It was very emotional, almost like we won,” said Rafael Reyes, 65, whose son Diego plays for Mexico. “We can get to the semifinal playing like that.”

Photographer: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal on a penalty kick during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group H match between Belgium and Algeria at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 17, 2014. Close

Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's... Read More

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Photographer: Ian Walton/Getty Images

Sofiane Feghouli of Algeria, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal on a penalty kick during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group H match between Belgium and Algeria at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on June 17, 2014.

Belgium’s Victory

In Belo Horizonte, Belgium’s Fellaini scored in the 70th minute with a twisting header, 10 minutes before Mertens lashed a shot past Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi. Algeria had taken the lead with a 24th-minute penalty kick by Sofiane Feghouli after defender Jan Vertonghen fouled the midfielder.

In Cuiaba, Lee Keun-Ho gave South Korea a 1-0 lead in the 68th minute, 12 minutes after he entered as a substitute. His right-footed shot went through the hands of Russian goalie Igor Akinfeev. Alexander Kerzhakov, also a substitute, got the equalizer for Russia six minutes later off a scramble in front of the Korean net.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Fortaleza, Brazil at aduff4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net Dex McLuskey, Rob Gloster

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