Sport Football Brazil held by Mexico, Belgium scrape past Algeria

Brazil held by Mexico, Belgium scrape past Algeria

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Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has proven an impenetrable obstacle for tournament favourites Brazil, making a string of incredible saves to ensure a 0-0 result in Fortazela.

The Brazilians were expected to continue their march towards the knockout stages, but found stiff opposition in the form of a Mexico team which has also edged closer to the round of 16.

Brazil failed to find any attacking rhythm, and on the odd occasion they did – usually led by Neymar – Ochoa contrived to deny the hosts and deflate the crowd.

Ochoa’s heroics almost contributed to a Mexican win, as late chances fell the way of Andres Guardado and Raul Jiminez, but they too failed to find the back of the net.

Both teams are now locked on four points in Group A with one game each remaining.

Meanwhile, Belgium fought back from a goal down to score twice in the final 20 minutes and earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over gutsy Algeria in their Group H opener.

Substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens turned the game around after Algeria playmaker Sofiane Feghouli had given it a 25th minute lead with a penalty at the Mineirao stadium.

Belgium, back at the World Cup after a 12-year absence, enjoyed the majority of possession but struggled to break down a disciplined two-line Algerian defence which kept Eden Hazard and forward Romelu Lukaku well in check.