The 28-year-old goalkeeper justified his selection by making six saves as El Tri took a point off the host nation.Guillermo Ochoa had to wait eight years after traveling to his first World Cup before seeing the field on soccer's grandest stage. Even his place in this year's tournament was in doubt earlier this month, when Jesus Corona was battling for the starting job.
But Ochoa did get his chance. And he sure has made the most of it.
After shutting out a lifeless Cameroon attack Friday, Ochoa turned in the most spectacular goalkeeping performance of this World Cup so far on Tuesday, holding host Brazil to a scoreless draw.
The 28-year-old make six saves — four of the stunning variety. In the 26th minute, he made a sprawling stop to deny a Neymar header. Just before halftime, he charged out to deny Paulinho. He again stoned Neymar in the 69th minute. And he parried away Thiago Silva's point-blank header with four minutes remaining.
While those were the flashiest moments for Ochoa, he commanded his area as well, coming up with a pair of catches and a punch to kill Brazilian buildups.
To coach Miguel Herrera, it would appear he went 2 for 2 with his toughest coaching decisions going into this World Cup. Up top, Giovani dos Santos responded to beating out Javier Hernandez by delivering a standout performance against Cameroon. Now Ochoa has shown why he deserved to start over the 33-year-old Corona between the posts.
And largely thanks to the contributions of those two players, Mexico finds itself a point away from securing passage to the knockout round once more.