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Rediff.com  » Sports » Goalkeepers day out in World Cup: Mexico's Ochoa hero, Russia's Akinfeev villain

Goalkeepers day out in World Cup: Mexico's Ochoa hero, Russia's Akinfeev villain

June 18, 2014 07:58 IST

Goalkeepers day out in World Cup: Mexico's Ochoa hero, Russia's Akinfeev villain

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Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa produced a heroic performance in a 0-0 draw with Brazil and his Russian counterpart Igor Akinfeev was the villain in a 1-1 draw with South Korea as the World Cup produced more drama on Tuesday.

-Catch the complete coverage of the football World Cup

Ochoa produced four world class saves to deny Paulinho, Neymar (twice) and Thiago Silva when they seemed certain to score in an intense, end-to-end match in tropical Fortaleza which left both teams with four points from two games in Group A.

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Image: Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa, left, makes a save in front of Brazil's Paulinho and David Luiz
Photographs: Sergio Moraes /Reuters

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Goalkeepers day out in World Cup: Ochoa hero, Akinfeev villain

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Silva thought he had won the game in the closing minutes with a powerful header only to see his effort parried at point blank range by the Mexican keeper.

-PHOTOS: Ochoa steals the show as Mexico hold Brazil

Despite the scoreline, the match was anything but dull and the Mexicans enjoyed long periods of possession, bravely taking the game to the hosts in the second half.

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Image: Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa makes a save
Photographs: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

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Goalkeepers day out in World Cup: Ochoa hero, Akinfeev villain

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"I believe this was the best match of my life because this was a World Cup game and this is very important," said Ochoa.

"I don't know whether I can think of another goalkeeper in memory...someone who has done what Memo (Ochoa) did today," Mexico coach Miguel Herrera told a news conference.

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Image: Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico celebrates with Javier Aquino after their 0-0 draw with Brazil
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Goalkeepers day out in World Cup: Ochoa hero, Akinfeev villain

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While Ochoa kept Brazil at bay, the hapless Akinfeev was left to bury his head in his hands after he allowed Lee Keun-ho's straightforward shot from 25 metres to slip through his grasp.

-PHOTOS Kerzkakhov saves the day for Russia vs Korea

In the Group H clash in Cuiaba, Akinfeev's blushes on 68 minutes were spared when veteran Alexander Kerzhakov pounced to equalise for Russia after more scrappy goalkeeping by Jung Sung-ryong six minutes later.


Image: Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters

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