World Cup Daily Recap: The GK spectrum from Ochoa to Akinfeev
Day 6 of the World Cup was headlined by a pair of goalkeepers on opposite ends of the spectrum and a better-late-than-never showing by a popular dark horse pick:
OCHOA STUFFS BRAZIL
Guillermo Ochoa turned an a heroic performance in goal for Mexico, coming up with six saves -- multiple of the incredible variety -- to keep host Brazil at bay and secure a 0-0 draw for El Tri.
Ochoa's finest work came midway through the first half, going full-extension dive to swat away a goal-bound Neymar header at the last instance. He stayed sharp late, though, stuffing Thiago Silva's powerful header attempt to keep the clean sheet.
With the result, Mexico and Brazil are level on points atop Group A with four apiece, although the Selecao has a better goal differential. Even so, pressure is building on the hosts, who can't rely on their Confederations Cup triumph anymore, as James Young writes from Fortaleza.
RUSSIA OVERCOMES AKINFEEV'S HOWLER
While Ochoa had a day he'll always remember, Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had a day to forget, letting Keun-Ho Lee's long-range shot go off his hands and into his own net to spot South Korea a 1-0 lead.
Alexander Kerzhakov bailed out his keeper, though, coming off the bench and scoring almost immediately after to salvage a 1-1 draw between the Group H foes and the last two teams to begin play in this year's competition.
For Russia manager Fabio Capello, it was an eerie case of deja vu. In 2010, when he was coaching England, he witness Robert Green fumble Clint Dempsey's long shot and turn a routine save into a goal in a game that also ended 1-1. If there's a silver lining for Capello, his Three Lions made it through to the knockout stage despite the error.
BELGIUM SHOWS UP LATE
Belgium has high expectations, but it took a long time before it started to live up them in what was supposed to be a routine win over Algeria. The Red Devils secured the three points, which ultimately is what matters, but it took goals from substitutes Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens to complete a comeback on the Fennec Foxes and earn a 2-1 win.
Marc Wilmots' side struggled mightily to enforce itself, and Algeria went ahead after Jan Vertonghen committed a foolish foul in his own penalty area. Perhaps Group H favorite Belgium just needed one game to shake the cobwebs and get itself on track.
Guillermo Ochoa's day at the office, The Remix:
A day after declaring John Brooks the greatest American since Abraham Lincoln, Wikipedia proclaims Ochoa is Mexican Jesus. Internet, never change:
WHAT'S ON DECK (all times ET)
- The Netherlands looks to build on its 5-1 win over Spain when facing Tim Cahill and Australia in Group B action (12 p.m., ESPN/Univision).
- Defending champion Spain aims to bounce back in a big way in a must-have game against Chile (3 p.m., ESPN/Univision).
- Croatia and Cameroon go in search of their first points in their second match in Group A play (6 p.m., ESPN/Univision).