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Mexico - Apertura
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World Cup 2014
June 17, 2014
• 3:00 PM
• Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, Fortaleza, Ceará
Referee: C. Çakιr
• Attendance: 60342
The likes of Thiago Silva and Neymar went close, with Julio Cesar forced into a few late saves, as Mexico frustrated Brazil throughout - resulting in an entertaining stalemate. That's all we have time for, I've been Simon Harrison, but be sure to stick around for Russia vs South Korea later tonight!
FULL TIME! Brazil and Mexico drew 0-0 in Fortaleza, earning the hosts a rather mixed reception! The home fans aren't too pleased, but El Tri's support are ecstatic, as Ochoa put on a goalkeeping masterclass to keep the Selecao at bay.
90' + 1'
GOOD SAVE FROM JULIO CESAR! Jimenez is found in space on the right, driving a low shot towards the bottom right corner! The Brazil goalkeeper gets down smartly to palm it away from danger, though Hernandez nearly manages to control the rebound!
GUARDADO GOES VERY CLOSE! The Mexico midfielder drifts in from the right, before curling a left-footed effort across goal and onto the roof of the net! It had Julio Cesar throwing himself in the air to get a touch, with Miguel Herrera half-celebrating on the sideline!
Only a few minutes remain for both of these sides to protect their 100% group record, though a draw wouldn't be a bad result for either. Willian is bustled to the ground by Fabian, allowing for Brazil to earn a free-kick. The hosts break with Marcelo down the left, with the left-back going down in the box due to a tug by Jimenez! The referee doesn't give a penalty, though!
GREAT SAVE FROM OCHOA AGAIN! Reflex stop from the Mexico goalkeeper, who slaps away a Thiago Silva header from close range! He might not have known much about it, with the effort whistling straight towards him, but that has to go down as another top stop!
Giovani dos Santos
Third change for Brazil, as Willian replaces Oscar. There are a lot of tired legs out on the field, with the fresh winger perhaps able to make something happen. It's just not clicking in attack for the hosts and the home crowd aren't too pleased.
Less than ten minutes to go and the home crowd are urging the Selecao to try and break whenever possible. It appears that both managers would be satisfied with a draw, which would leave them both in favourable positions. That said, Herrera tells Jimenez to warm up.
Dos Santos tries his luck from the dead ball, but cannons his effort straight into the wall. Neymar breaks through the heart of the Mexico midfield, before looking to poke a through ball in behind for Jo to chase. Ochoa is quick off his line to smother the pass.
Yellow CardThiago Silva
Thiago Silva scythes through Hernandez, earning himself a yellow card for his troubles. He's not happy with his defensive teammates, however, berating Marcelo for a lazy tackle on the left hand side. Mexico have a free-kick from 25 yards out, within shooting distance.
Moreno steps out of defence brilliantly to halt Dani Alves, while the right-back was in full flight. Mexico continue to hold firm, with their central defensive three nullifying any Brazilian attack which threatens to penetrate down the middle.
BIG CHANCE FOR JO! The substitute breaks the offside trap, slid through on goal by Bernard, but drags his first-time strike wide of the far post! He shouts in frustration, he knows that he should have done better with that!
Oscar finds Neymar with a short pass on the edge of the area, before the latter attempts a piece of skill to flick a lofted pass over the deep Mexican defence. Mexico clear and counter, but Hernandez is muscled off the ball by David Luiz deep in Brazil's penalty area.
Bernard overlaps Neymar and receives possession via a nice backheel from the Shakhtar man. The former whips in a cross, but Jo is unable to rise high enough to make any contact. A bit more urgency for Brazil, at least.
There are around 20 minutes remaining, with Mexico surely feeling as though they can take all three points having gone for so long without conceding. Javier Hernandez might signal their intent, as the Little Pea strips off ready for action.
David Luiz spreads play out to Oscar on the right hand side, before making a supporting run. His former Chelsea teammate gives him the ball back, but Luiz mishits his shot and another Brazilian attack peters out.
OCHOA MAKES THE SAVE! Scolari makes his second change, replacing a rather lacklustre Fred with Jo. Immediately Brazil break upfield, with Neymar forcing Ochoa into another smart save on his near post! Dani Alves picks up the rebound but his cross is deflected behind for a corner!
Layun beats Dani Alves for pace, before firing a cross into the six yard area. Thiago Silva manages to contort himself and make an important headed clearance, stopping the Mexican attack in its tracks. El Tri certainly aren't sitting back and looking to defend.
Marcelo whips a cross in from the left yet again, but Mexico manage to scramble clear yet again. Brazil are looking low on ideas and it wouldn't be surprising to see Scolari utilise his bench again fairly soon. There isn't any fluency or vibrancy in midfield.
NEYMAR GOES CLOSE! The 22-year-old curls a 30 yard free-kick towards the near post, but Ochoa is happy to watch it wide. It wasn't too far away, but the Mexican goalkeeper's dive was merely for his own peace of mind.
Yellow CardJ. Vázquez
Dos Santos breaks to the byeline, but his attempt cut-back is smothered by Julio Cesar. Vazquez then picks up his own yellow card for a niggling tackle on Neymar. Herrera may need to consider some substitutes soon to ensure that El Tri end the game with a full side.
Half an hour remains, with the home supporters beginning to get on the Selecao's back a little. Guardado fires wide of the target from 30 yards yet again, as Mexico keep peppering Julio Cesar's goal. Hernanes is warming up for Brazil.
Yellow CardPaul Nicolás Aguilar
Aguilar is given a yellow card for a rash challenge on Bernard, meaning that the wing-back is on thin ice for the remainder of the second half. Brazil are struggling to impose themselves in the second half, with Mexico's formation and plentiful bodies in defence continuing to frustrate.
HERRERA GOES CLOSE! The midfielder is allowed to cut inside Paulinho and unleash a ferocious left-footed effort, but once again the ball heads narrowly over the crossbar! Mexico keep trying their luck and it must be said that they're looking the more likely to score thus far!
Giovani dos Santos drifts inside from the right hand side, scampering across the edge of the box and beating David Luiz. He can only muster a weak shot from 18 yards, which is deflected into the arms of Julio Cesar.
WHAT A STRIKE FROM VAZQUEZ! El Tri are getting closer! Another ambitious strike from 30 yards, with the midfielder almost scraping the top of the crossbar. Herrera's side certainly aren't afraid to shoot, Julio Cesar will be a worried man.
Layun breaks down the left hand side, before whipping in a right-footed cross which Luiz Gustavo deals with. Mexico keep the pressure on, with Guardado shooting from 30 yards out. Thiago Silva makes the block to concede a corner.
Mexico look to hold onto the ball, moving it sideways at pace, but Brazil continue to look very comfortable. Julio Cesar has been well protected thus far, with Peralta only looking dangerous on one occasion. Fortunately for Herrera, he has impact striker Javier Hernandez waiting on the bench.
Bernard has already had some joy down the Mexican left hand side, with Scolari's change certainly a positive one. The Selecao have started the second half the better of the two outfits, with the home crowd beginning to chant the name of Neymar.
Brilliant defending from Rodriguez! Dani Alves releases Bernard down the right hand side, before the substitute fires an excellent cross towards the back post! Neymar steams in to try and make contact, but Rodriguez gets there first to divert behind for a corner.
One change at the interval, as Bernard replaces Ramires, suggesting that the Selecao are prepared to take this game to their opponents. The Shakhtar winger is capable of playing on the left or the right, with the pace to trouble the Mexican wing-backs.
We're back underway in Fortaleza! Brazil will be keen to push on and find the game's opening goal, but Mexico's staunch defensive performance from the opening 45 minutes suggests that Scolari's men will have a tough time of it.
Neymar has had a couple of good chances to give Brazil the lead, but Ochoa has been equal to the Barcelona man's efforts. The Selecao have seen plenty of the ball, but just haven't shown the cutting edge required to break down the resolute El Tri lines. Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes time for all of the second half action!
HALF TIME! The referee calls time on a goalless first 45 minutes, with Ochoa forced into a couple of brilliant saves as the half wore on. Mexico have held their own, with Miguel Herrera presumably happy with his side's battling spirit, but Neymar is looking dangerous.
There's just one minute of stoppage time.
GOOD SAVE FROM OCHOA! Great opportunity for Brazil, but the Mexican goalkeeper is on hand to deny them again! A free-kick delivery bobbles through a ruck of players, allowing for three unmarked yellow shirts to try and turn home the loose ball! Paulinho tries his luck but Ochoa makes the block.
Marcelo whips in another cross from deep on the left, but Rodriguez beats Fred to the header. It has been a frustrating half for Brazil, who have seen plenty of the ball but can't find the cutting edge to break through thick Mexican lines.
Layun tries a diagonal pass in behind Dani Alves, but the Barcelona right-back manages to head clear. Mexico continue to maintain the pressure, with Vazquez eventually presented with possession on the edge of the box. He stabs an effort towards the bottom right corner, but it skips off the dry turf and behind for a goal-kick.
Luiz Gustavo has gone down after clashing aerially with Herrera. The defensive midfielder looks fine to continue, but just a little dazed. We're running out of time in the first half for either team to take an advantage back to their respective dressing room.
Dani Alves concedes a free-kick in a dangerous area, but Thiago Silva rises highest to defuse the danger and clear the eventual delivery. Layun picks up the pieces, striking from 30 yards, but Julio Cesar is happy to let the wing-back's effort head high and wide.
Good defensive header from Herrera, as the midfielder nods away a Neymar near post corner delivery, conceding another in the process. Fred wins the second, but can only direct the ball straight at Ochoa. The lone forward hasn't had the best opening half an hour for Brazil.
Thiago Silva makes a good challenge to set Brazil on their way upfield. Neymar runs infield from the left, beating Aguilar before cutting past Vazquez. The ball deflects off a defender, however, looping into the grasp of the grateful Ochoa. Neymar is looking in inspired form.
Less than a quarter of an hour to go, as this game continues to threaten to find its first goal but come up short. Great goalkeeping from Ochoa has kept El Tri in it, while Peralta is looking a fairly isolated man in attack for Mexico.
Paulinho feeds the ball into Oscar, who had dropped in from the left flank. The Chelsea man took one touch, before trying his luck from 30 yards, but Ochoa is easily able to gobble up the tame strike.
Almost a mistake from David Luiz, as the central defender takes a poor touch and nearly allows for Peralata to race in behind enemy lines. Julio Cesar is quick to race off his goal-line and hoof clear.
This contest has burst into action! Both goalkeepers have stayed alert to keep their respective sides in the game, as this contest threatens to give us a goal before half time. Plenty of space for both Brazil and Mexico to exploit on the break.
BRILLIANT SAVE FROM OCHOA! Neymar is picked out at the back post, rising majestically to steer a header towards the near post! Ochoa is at full stretch to palm the ball away, as Brazil go extremely close! Mexico clear their lines, with Layun trying his luck from range but firing over.
GREAT EFFORT FROM HERRERA! The El Tri midfielder unleashes a fantastic strike from 30 yards, which threatens to whistle underneath the crossbar. Julio Cesar is light on his feet to get up and acrobatically tip the ball over his goal, but the referee awards a goal-kick.
Dangerous play from Peralta! The Mexico forward weaves his way through rash challenges from Thiago Silva and Marcelo, but opts to stay on his feet and drive to the byeline. The recovering PSG defender just about manages to get a foot in to deny the El Tri dangerman.
Still nothing for either goalkeeper to do, as the bulk of this contest continues to be played in the midfield third. Mexico's five at the back is holding out, though Neymar appears to have more than enough invention to beat a man and start to stretch things.
Fred finds himself in an offside position once again, but is picked out by a back post ball by Marcelo. The lone striker heads a cross back across goal, but Ramires fails to win the second ball. The referee then pulls back play, due to his linesman's flag being raised.
Scolari's men fail to penetrate the Mexican lines once again, with a clearance flying out of play on the right hand side. Dani Alves takes a quick throw-in to Gustavo, who takes a touch out of his feet and ambitiously shoots from 35 yards. The ball arcs terribly wide of the target.
Luiz Gustavo is again on hand to make an important interception in the centre of midfield, before spraying possession wide to Neymar. The Barcelona man turns Rodriguez inside out with a wonderful Cruyff turn, as the 22-year-old continues to be a thorn in Mexico's side. The defender brings him down, earning Brazil yet another free-kick.
The opening quarter of an hour has passed without either goalkeeper being called into action, but there has certainly been a competitive edge to the contest. Plenty of challenges are flying in, with the likes of Vazquez and Dani Alves being warned to watch their step by the referee.
Good defensive work from Mexico! Fred looks to fire home on the turn from ten yards, but Moreno does well to slide in and make a block. The rebound falls to Marcelo at the byeline, with the Real Madrid man firing in an immediate cross, but Paulinho can only deflect the pass wide of the near post.
It appears that Neymar is being retained in the number ten role for Brazil, with Oscar and Ramires on the flanks for Scolari's men, a surprise given how Neymar is often deployed on the wing. Brazil are in control at the moment, able to probe and test the resolve of the Mexican lines.
FRED HITS THE SIDE NETTING! Marcelo releases Oscar down the left hand side, with the diminutive attacking midfielder playing a cross into the path of Fred with the outside of his boot. The Fluminense forward stabs the ball into the side netting from six yards out, with the linesman's flag also raised for offside.
Mexico sit back in their shape and invite Brazil to attack, preying on mistakes from the hosts. Marcelo misplaces a pass, but Luiz Gustavo is on hand to rob Herrera and bring the Selecao back upfield. The Wolfsburg man is so key for balance in midfield for Scolari.
Neymar wins a free-kick after being brought down by Dos Santos, but David Luiz fires the dead ball into a two-man wall. Brazil are struggling to penetrate El Tri's lines, but are slowly getting a foothold and starting to take control of the contest.
Neymar looks to drive at the Mexican defence, but is accidentally tackled by Fred, as the lone striker looked to drop deep and collect the ball. Moreno has only had to make own clearance so far for Herrera's side, as the Selecao struggle to retain possession.
A late challenge from Layun on Luiz Gustavo is rather nasty, sending the defensive midfielder sprawling on the turf. Mexico are stealing yards early on, robbing possession deep in Brazil's half and looking to take the game to the host nation.
David Luiz heads away Mexico's first free-kick delivery of the game, before Thiago Silva is forced to concede a corner with his own clearance soon after. Some early pressure from El Tri, with both outfits keen to come out of the traps quickly and press from the off. The set piece comes to nothing.
Vazquez snaps at Neymar's heels and brings down the Brazil star, earning him a stern telling off from the referee. After the Barcelona forward's performance in the opening game, fouling Neymar might be El Tri's best chance of stopping him.
We are underway in the first half! Brazil are wearing their famous canary yellow, with Mexico kitted out in a rather fiery red. The renditions of both national anthems suggest that there will be plenty of competitive spirit on the field this evening! Neymar is moved to tears by the occasion.
The players are taking to the field and after the national anthems we will be getting down to business! There is, of course, a capacity crowd to watch the host nation, but El Tri have plenty of their own support too. A great atmosphere for what should be a competitive affair. We're minutes from the first whistle!
With a quarter of an hour until kick-off, be sure to stick with us for all of the action, as the Selecao look to keep their momentum going - as they look to make it eleven consecutive wins. Mexico certainly aren't to be underestimated, however, with El Tri more than capable of holding their own with a solid formation. You don't want to miss this game!
As it stands in Group A, both Brazil and Mexico are sitting pretty on three points apiece, leaving Croatia and Cameroon to fester at the foot of the table with none. Should Mexico get even a fair share of the points this evening, Herrera's men have to fancy their chances of progressing into the knockout stages of the competition in the place of much-fancied Croatia. Brazil and their support won't be happy with anything less than a win, however.
Mexico substitutes: Corona, Salcido, Reyes, Fabian, Jimenez, Pulido, Talavera, Hernandez, Ponce, Brizuela, Aquino, Pena.
Mexico starting line-up (5-3-1-1): Ochoa; Layun, Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno, Layun; Herrera, Vazquez, Guardado; Dos Santos; Peralta.
Brazil substitutes: Jefferson, Fernandinho, Hulk, Dante, Maxwell, Henrique, Hernanes, Willian, Bernard, Jo, Victor, Maicon.
Brazil starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo; Ramires, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.
TEAM NEWS: No changes whatsoever from Miguel Herrera, as El Tri stick with a side who fared comfortably against a disappointing Cameroon outfit. Oribe Peralta is the main focal point of the attack and is the scorer of Mexico's only goal in the tournament so far. When out of possession, Paul Aguilar and Miguel Layun will be asked to drop back into a defensive five, which could make Mexico a tough side to break down.
TEAM NEWS: Hulk misses out due to an injury picked up in training for Brazil, with Scolari selecting Ramires to replace the Zenit winger. As a result, Neymar may be shifted back out onto his more familiar position on the left flank, leaving Oscar the responsibility of the number ten role. Otherwise, it's an unchanged side, with continued trust and belief from the hosts' coach in his starting eleven.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you updated with all of the action from Fortaleza, as the tournament hosts look to take another positive step forward towards the knockout phases. The Selecao beat Croatia in somewhat controversial circumstances during the first round of World Cup fixtures and will be wanting to prove that they can turn in a comprehensive winning performance without the aid of any refereeing decisions.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Brazil's Group A clash against Mexico, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's men hoping to make it two wins in a row. El Tri are also coming into this match on the back of three points, courtesy of a solitary goal from Oribe Peralta. Miguel Herrera's men will be keen to take something from the game, in the knowledge that Croatia will be facing winless Cameroon tomorrow.
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