Brazil vs. Mexico: 6 Things We Learned

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2014

Brazil vs. Mexico: 6 Things We Learned

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    Martin Mejia/Associated Press

    Historic scoreless draw for Mexico.

    For the first time in its history El Tri grabbed points against Brazil in a World Cup.

    It was a team effort, which included some serious saves from Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, surprising defensive moves by Francisco Rodriguez and heart from everyone on the squad.

    Luiz Felipe Scolari's side couldn't believe what was happening and El Tri kept their demolishing pace.

    Now, Mexico have to think of Croatia because another draw secures them a spot in the knockout stage.

    All advanced stats appear courtesy of Squawka, unless otherwise noted.

Guillermo Ochoa Is the Right Starting Goalkeeper

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    Univision

    Guillermo Ochoa made a great save against Cameroon, but the real deal came in this game.

    Mexico need to thank Ochoa for the result because his performance was better than ever. The former Ajaccio player made six saves and one catch.

    Ochoa is currently a free agent—he left Ajaccio at the end of the 2013-2014 season. After his latest World Cup appearances it's only fair to think that he might land a contract with a big team.

    Off the pitch he had nearly two million mentions during the match, according to Twitter reverb and was the king of memes. 

    Memo #Ochoa owns in the internet. Best #memes here: http://t.co/dyzodZyk5l #MEX pic.twitter.com/u4RpND5ihu

    — Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) June 17, 2014

     

Andres Guardado Still Has What It Takes

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    Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

    Andres Guardado played six games with Bayer Leverkusen before Brazil 2014, and he was not at his best when Miguel Herrera first capped him for the clash against Nigeria.

    However, he made a huge commitment with the team and kept grinding against Brazil, becoming a key factor in the midfield.

    Guardado completed 82 percent of the passes—he only missed seven of them. He also pressed Dani Alves constantly.

    He even took his chances from outside the box, giving El Tri more attacking options.

Miguel Layun Needs to Calm Down

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    Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

    Miguel Layun came to the pitch with a different pace than the rest of the team. The Club America footballer missed 29 percent of his passes.

    In the second he half seemed more comfortable, and he finally started to make a difference through the left flank. He created two goal opportunities and also polished his defensive labors, including an interception in the 73rd minute.

    In the previous match, against Cameroon, he came in with a different rhythm too and eventually settled down.

    Layun has already proven to be worthy; he just needs to take control of his emotions.

Francisco Rodriguez's Experience Was Key

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    Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

    Francisco Rodriguez has slowly shut down his critics. His experience has been a key ingredient in Mexico's performance.

    He cut one of Brazil's most lethal attacks in the first half. El Maza made six clearances, two interceptions and completed 87 percent of the passes he sent.

    Rodriguez was all over the place, he made one mistake in Brazil's first shot on target, but other than that he was superb.

    His passes from the right flank were instrumental in El Tri's attack through that side.

Hector Moreno Is the Future of Mexico's Defense

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Hector Moreno has settled himself as an undisputed starter. The 26-year-old has been playing in Europe since 2008, when Dutch club AZ Alkmaar signed him.

    Moreno covered 8,381 meters, recovered eight balls and had a top speed of 29 km/h, according to FIFA.com. Moreno's strength also helped him win all his aerial duels.

    The Mexican defender not only helped El Tri's backbone, but he also joined the attack as soon as he recovered the ball.

    His fine touch was key in this department, as he completed 91 percent of his passes, as reported by MiSeleccion.mx.

Brazil's Performance Is Worrisome

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Mexico stunned Brazil again.

    El Tri had nothing to lose and managed to play the game just the way they wanted.

    The host had several good chances. They couldn't convert any of them, despite having the support of their fans and the talent of their players.

    It's not just about this clash. The inaugural match was controversial to say the least.

    Luiz Felipe Scolari's side has failed to convince.

    Mexico showed that the Verde-Amarela are going through a rough patch. The defenders were slow at the end of the match, the midfielders were not as sharp as they use to be and the forwards were desperate.