23 february 2017, Updated 05:45h

Report: Brazil 0-0 Mexico

Brazil fire blanks against energetic Mexico side

Neymar's Brazil were forced to settle for a goalless draw against Mexico

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Brazil and Mexico both now have four points | Foto: AFP

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Brazil and Mexico both now have four points
Mexico created chances
Guardado striking the ball
Ochoa produced a series of great saves
Neymar takes a free-kick
Rik Sharma | 17.6.2014 | 22:45h.

Neymar and Co were frustrated by Mexico in an entertaining draw in Fortaleza.

Brazil opted to bring in Chelsea midfielder Ramires for the injured Hulk, a defensive move.

Luiz Felipe Scolari had clearly been worried by Croatia's chances in the first game so went for the conservative option, when Willian or Bernard would have been more appropriate options.

The formation was changed too, a 4-3-3 rather than the 4-2-3-1 used in the first match.

Ramires joined Luis Gustavo in the centre, along with Paulinho, while Oscar, Neymar and Fred foraged further upfield. 

Scolari's selection garnered the first half it merited, a turgid, battling affair. 

Neymar nearly opened the scoring midway through the first period, his header superbly saved by Mexican stopper Guillermo Ochoa at his near post.

It was the best chance of the half, with the rest being a scrappy tussle between two teams that should have been able to serve up far better.

Brazil should have taken the lead before the interval when Ochoa performed more heroics to keep them at bay, when Paulinho shot at goal following a chested pass by Thiago Silva.

Ramires went in the book for a clumsy foul and then Brazil went in for the break, knowing they had to up their game in the second half. 

They nearly netted early after the restart, with Bernard, on for Ramires, firing a cross which whipped past the goal and the waiting Fred.

The match opened up further in the second half, with Jo dragging a shot wide and Mexico forcing Julio Cesar into a few smart saves.

But the game was escaping Brazil and they became desperate, with the frustration clearly showing.

Silva put in a dreadful tackle on Javier Hernandez, which could have earned him more than a booking.

Then minutes later his header from point blank range was superbly saved by Ochoa.

The goalkeeper had a magnificent game but Silva should have buried it

It was Mexico who had the game's final chance, Andres Guardado firing narrowly over from the right, a shot which nearly dipped beyound Cesar. 

As it was, things remained goalless and it means that if either Croatia or Cameroon win on Wednesday night, then the other will be eliminated.

Brazilians, meanwhile, will be expecting much more of their side. 

Match facts

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Fred (Jo 67), Neymar, Oscar (Willian 84), Ramires (Bernard 46), Luiz Gustavo

Booked: Ramires, Silva.

Mexico: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez, Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos (Jimenez 84), Moreno, Guardado, Peralta (Hernandez 73), Aguilar, Vazquez

Booked: Aguilar, Vazquez.

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey).