World Cup Roundup (June 17): Mexico, Brazil play to 0-0 draw in Group A

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

GROUP A

BRAZIL 0, MEXICO 0

FORTALEZA, Brazil -- Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made a series of outstanding saves to help Mexico hold Brazil to a pulsating 0-0 draw at the World Cup on Tuesday.

The result leaves both teams with four points each after two games in Group A ahead of their decisive final matches. Croatia and Cameroon meet on Wednesday for their second games after both opened with defeats.

Ochoa's first remarkable save prevented Neymar from scoring in the 26th minute. The Brazil striker's powerful header looked set to fly just inside the post when the goalkeeper dived to his right to push the ball wide.

Ochoa also made three other difficult saves to keep the hosts from breaking the deadlock -- a shot by Paulinho in the 44th, a second-half effort by Neymar from inside the area and a close-range header by Thiago Silva in the 86th minute which produced a remarkable block by the Mexico keeper.

After that, there was still time for a thrilling end to the game in the northeastern city of Fortaleza.

The referee dismissed Brazilian claims for a penalty after Marcelo seemed to have been grabbed in the 88th minute. Mexico then had two great chances, first with Andres Guardado's shot over the crossbar in the 90th and then with an effort by Raul Jimenez that was stopped by Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar in injury time.

GROUP H

BELGIUM 2, ALGERIA 1

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- Belgium opened its World Cup Group H campaign with a 2-1 comeback win over Algeria on Tuesday, relying on second-half goals from two substitutes.

Marouane Fellaini's strong glancing header in the 70th minute with his back to goal came from a Kevin De Bruyne cross. Fellaini had only come onto the pitch five minutes earlier and was coach Marc Wilmots' final substitution.

Ten minutes later, Dries Mertens' shot beat Algeria's goalkeeper from close range after Eden Hazard set him up for the decider. Mertens came on at the start of the second half.

Algeria attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli converted a penalty to give his country a surprise lead in the 25th.

GROUP H

RUSSIA 1, SOUTH KOREA 1

CUIABA, Brazil -- Alexander Kerzhakov scored with one of his first touches after coming on as a substitute to earn Russia a 1-1 draw with South Korea on Tuesday in a World Cup match marked by the first big goalkeeping error of the tournament.

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev spilled Lee Keun-ho's speculative shot into his own net to gift South Korea a 68th-minute lead at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba in Group H.

But Kerzhakov bailed his teammate out, turning in a shot from close range in the 74th -- three minutes after coming on as a substitute -- to rescue a point for Russia in a poor-quality match.

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