Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the toast of Mexico after frustrating Brazil’s much-vaunted attack with an outstanding display in a 0-0 draw in World Cup Group A on Tuesday.
Ochoa, known as Memo by his team mates, stood tall to deny Paulinho, Neymar and Thiago Silva, blocking eight attempts on the goal to the dlight of thousands of ecstatic Mexicans in the Castelao arena.
“I believe this was the best match of my life because this was a World Cup game and this is very important,” Ochoa said.
“We have to move on, celebrate with my team mates and my family, but move on because the path is still long.
“Thank God I made those saves and now it’s time to keep on working.”
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera was fulsome in his praise.
“I don’t know whether I can think of another goalkeeper in memory…someone who has done what Memo did today,” Herrera told a news conference.
“Memo had high-level saves, gave the certainty to the team that we needed and gave confidence that we’re well covered.”
Ochoa, who has played for French club AC Ajaccio for the last three seasons but is currently listed as a free agent, was named man of the match.
“I didn’t like the Mexican goalie,” Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari joked to reporters.
“He did very well, he was spectacular. The defences he did were spectacular. Calm, tranquil, he knows how to play, is well positioned.
“I think he really was the best player in the match and Mexico has a very good quality team.”
Herrera said the 28-year-old Ochoa had been performing “slightly” better than his other keepers.
“We decided that Memo is the person we saw calmer. We saw Memo slightly above the two,” he added.
“Memo has responded as we expected in his attitude. He’s enjoying the World Cup after being two times (previously) on the bench.”
“Memo is doing a very good job.”