After a somewhat fortuitous opening victory over Croatia, Brazil stuttered and stumbled to a draw with Mexico. Guillermo Ochoa took the headlines with a late save from Thago Silva, but the hosts were far from efficient in front of goal - and far from dominant elsewhere. Here's how it rolled out.
After 15 minutes Brazil had used their 71.9% possession to tot up 92 completed passes to Mexico's 28...
...but they had only managed two shots and 15 completed passes in the final third, compared to Mexico's 7.
Brazilians: They do like a dribble.
On 25 minutes Neymar went close from a header, but it was a rare success from a cross.
Indeed by the half-hour, Brazil had made more tackles than Mexico.
Brazil also won all the aerial duels in the first half-hour.
By half-time Brazil were somewhat the better team, with Mexico yet to register a shot on Julio Cesar's goal.
The pass count showed Brazil had had more ball...
...but Mexico weren't far behind on final-third balls, although they were unsuccessful with their attempts to spring long-ball counter-attacks.
Mexico were tackling higher up the pitch; Brazil were deeper but busier.
It said much of Brazil's unpentrative keep-ball that their three top first-half passers were defenders...
...and much about their unimpressive midfield that their heaviest final-third passers were the full-backs.
Indeed, Marcelo was their top dribbler, Oscar their top tackler.
Neymar was busily trying to switch play, to little avail.
Mexico came out bolder, and in the first 18 minutes after half-time they not only outshot their hosts (albeit mostly inaccurately, from distance)...
...they also outpassed Brazil, in Brazil.
Furthermore, as the hosts experimented unsuccessfuly with long balls, Mexico twice as many final-third passes as Brazil.
But in the next 15 minutes, the pendulum swung back to Brazil.
However, Brazil couldn't improve their accuracy, and apart from that Thiago SIlva header, neither side threatned much.
The final pass count is a fair reflection: Brazil on top but not by much.
Both sides completed more final-third passes after half-time.
In the second half, Brazil tried more dribbles but completed fewer as Mexico stood firm.
Much of the blame for the bluntness will lie with centre-forward Fred, who was withdrawn after an ineffective game.
Facts and figures
- This is only Brazil’s second goalless draw in their last 26 World Cup games.
- Guillermo Ochoa made 6 saves in this game. No keeper has made more in a game in this World Cup so far (M'Bolhi also made 6 v Belgium).
- This is the first time in four World Cup games against Brazil that Mexico haven’t conceded, although they are still yet to score against the Seleção.
- Mexico have conceded just 1 goal in their last 4 World Cup group games.
- Brazil have lost just 1 of their 35 World Cup matches in the first round/group stages of the World Cup since 1970 (W27 D7).
- The Seleção are now unbeaten in 39 successive matches in Brazil, with their last defeat coming against Paraguay (0-1 in a friendly) in August 2002.
- Mexico have only won 1 of their 12 games at the World Cup against South American sides (2-1 v Ecuador in 2002), drawing 3 and losing 8.
- Brazil's Fred completed 8 of 16 attempted passes (50%).
- This is only the second time Mexico have made it 180 minutes into a World Cup without conceding (1970 being the last time).
- Only in three World Cup games since (and including) 1966 have Mexico mustered fewer shots on target than they managed tonight (2).