Mexico Holds World Cup Hosts to Draw

Mexico held host and consensus World Cup favorite Brazil to a draw in an entertaining match Tuesday featuring the top two teams in Group A competition.

In the 0-0 draw at Castelao arena in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil repeatedly failed to penetrate a stubborn defense backed up by Mexico's goalie Guillermo Ochoa. Brazilian superstar Neymar came close to breaking the deadlock in each half, but was thwarted by Ochoa. Brazil's Paulinho and Thiago Silva nearly found the back of the net, too, while Mexico had some decent scoring chances.

The result left both teams tied for first in Group A with four points. 

Group A rivals Cameroon and Croatia meet in Manuas on Wednesday. Last week, Brazil beat Croatia and Mexico beat Cameroon.

The draw brought to an end Brazil's 10-match winning streak dating back to August.

Mexicos Raul Jimenez (right) raises his arms after a challenge on Brazils Marcelo during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil on June 17, 2014. /AP Mexico's Raul Jimenez (right) raises his arms after a challenge on Brazil's Marcelo during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil on June 17, 2014. /AP
Also Tuesday, substitutes scored two late goals to lift Belgium to a 2-1 win over Algeria in the Belgians' first World Cup match in 12 years. Marouane Fellaini tied the game in the 70th minute and Dries Mertens scored 10 minutes later, as Belgium went on to win the Group H match at Mineirao Stadium in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Algerian playmaker Sofiane Feghouli gave his squad a 1-0 lead with a 25th minute penalty, the Algerians' first World Cup goal in nearly three decades.   

Belgium is among the favorites to win the tournament.

Russia and Korea, two Group H teams, play in Tuesday's other match.

Those matches follow a thrilling 2-1 win by the United States over Ghana on Monday night in Group G play.

Forward Clint Dempsey gave the U.S. the lead only 34 seconds into the match with a hard shot off the right post, the sixth fastest goal in World Cup history and the fastest ever by an American.

The U.S. made that 1-0 lead stand up until the 82nd minute, when Andre Ayew got the equalizer for Ghana. While it appeared the match might be headed for a draw, the U.S. scored in the 86th minute for the victory.

The winning goal came thanks to two substitute players. Graham Zusi booted a corner kick into the box that was headed down into the goal by John Brooks. The 21-year-old Brooks was playing in only his fifth international match. It was the first goal in World Cup history scored by a U.S. substitute.

The victory avenged defeats at the hands of Ghana at the last two World Cups.

Also Monday, second ranked Germany trounced fourth ranked Portugal, 4-0, in Group G action, and Iran and Nigeria played to a goalless match in Group F. It is the only draw of the World Cup matches played thus far.

VOA News / Jun. 18, 2014 07:51 KST