June 17, 2014

Keeper Guillermo Ochoa Saves Mexico's Tocino: Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa made several spectacular saves to keep Brazil scoreless in a 0-0 draw in a World Cup match Tuesday. This puts Mexico in a great position to advance after two games. Both Mexico and Brazil have 4 points in Group A while Cameron and Croatia play tomorrow seeking their first points of the tournament. The 28-year-old keeper's heroics are well-timed. He's a free agent after his French side AC Ajaccio was relegated to Ligue 2 this past season.

posted by rcade to soccer at 07:09 PM - 12 comments

In ice hockey terms, a hot goal tender just stole a point. That was an amazing performance.

On another note, listening to the play-by-play announcer and his analyst, both of whom were, I believe, of Hispanic descent, added a lot to the game for me. You could tell that both announcers had a rooting interest in the game, but they never sounded like "homers". It's always more fun when the people telling the story truly care how it ends.

posted by Howard_T at 09:06 PM on June 17, 2014

Ochoa had an answer for everything. Very impressive performance!

posted by bender at 09:45 PM on June 17, 2014

Putin just announced that Ochoa is being transferred under armed guard to the Russian team before their next match.

As of this evening, Russia's current roster does not show them as ever having had a #1 goalkeeper.

posted by beaverboard at 10:06 PM on June 17, 2014

the play-by-play announcer and his analyst, both of whom were, I believe, of Hispanic descent, added a lot to the game for me.

Fernando Palomo (Salvadorean, works for ESPN Deportes) and Alejandro Moreno (Venezuelan, ESPN analyst and announcer for Philadelphia Union). They did the earlier Mexico match, and I enjoyed it a lot: very much 'Univision for English-speakers', and I'm only surprised that it's taken so long -- it's not as if ESPN Deportes doesn't have a stack of bilingual talent.

The ultimate voice of American football broadcasting is going to be one part blazered American sportscaster, one part Univision / ESPN Deportes, one part English football commentator and one part American ex-pro. It's still melding, but it's definitely getting there.

Ochoa was excellent; Brazil will need to improve.

posted by etagloh at 10:23 PM on June 17, 2014

I didn't like Palomo and Moreno on Mexico/Honduras but I enjoyed them on this game.

Brazil had some concerns against Croatia too. That doesn't bode well for their Cup hopes.

posted by rcade at 10:32 PM on June 17, 2014

Brazil have been insipid, but as Mexico and Croatia presumably will cancel one another out, I suspect it will not stop them from advancing.

Ochoa had a great game, although a couple (Neymar's last good chance and Silva's header as well) were hit right at him. Helps to be lucky and good.

On Russia, I felt bad for the goalie for about 10 seconds and then thought -- Crimea, screw them.

posted by holden at 10:36 PM on June 17, 2014

Don't think I ever seen that many quality saves in a match even if some were directly at Ochoa. Brazilian tender had a few good stops as well.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:49 PM on June 17, 2014

Last time Brazil failed to win their group: 1978 (when Austria beat them into second place on goals scored). I suspect they'll be OK to get out of the group, but on current form, I'd back England to beat them, Italy to thump them, and Germany to destroy them.

posted by JJ at 05:44 AM on June 18, 2014

If England has a choice to beat Brazil or beat themselves, I fear they'd always choose the latter. They had so many chances to come away from Italy with points it kills me.

posted by rcade at 08:25 AM on June 18, 2014

During the opener, I wondered what a German side with strength and counterattacking pace might do to Brazil. Then I actually saw Germany play and realised that I underestimated them. The way the draw's set up, though, keeps them far apart.

Instead, Brazil will face someone out of Group B in the second round. We won't know whether Spain's opening horror-show is a sign of deeper malaise until later today, or whether the Dutch will do the Dutch thing once they get out of the group, but it's not a comfortable draw. (Brazil-Chile in the second round? Plausible.)

As for Ochoa, he may not have known much about some of those stops, which is true, but there's a tendency to discount positioning on the goal line for the ones that aren't acrobatic.

posted by etagloh at 08:30 AM on June 18, 2014

I didn't like Palomo and Moreno on Mexico/Honduras but I enjoyed them on this game.

They're pretty fun. I'd give them a mulligan because Shakespeare would struggle to describe Honduras' play in an attractive way. The best part of yesterday's commentary was Ale talking about celebrating the US game-winning goal "in the bar" and Fernando immediately claiming he wouldn't know since he didn't go to such places (they settled on "restaurant").

posted by yerfatma at 10:28 AM on June 18, 2014

The funniest bit so far in the call of games was when an announcer was talking about Che Guevara and his partner started praising someone's soccer prowess without naming him. The announcer paused for a moment and said, "Che Guevara?" I want to say this was Ian Darke but I'm probably wrong.

posted by rcade at 10:32 AM on June 18, 2014

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.