Thanking Memo: Cult World Cup hero Ochoa saves day again for Mexico

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DOHA: Mexico fans and players would have only wanted one man standing between their goal and Robert Lewandowski’s impending penalty — and cult hero Guillermo Ochoa duly did the business.
The 37-year-old goalkeeper, called up for his fifth World Cup, turned the Polish striker’s effort away to earn Mexico a point in their goalless World Cup clash on Tuesday.
The curly haired Ochoa appeared to say something to Lewandowski in the run-up to the spot-kick and it might have distracted the usually deadly striker, whose effort was tame.
“’Memo’ (his nickname) is a goalkeeper with a lot of history, five World Cups — you can say that easily — but behind it is a lot of sacrifice, a lot of work and that is reflected in a moment in a crucial game,” said Mexico forward Alexis Vega.
Club America stopper Ochoa made brilliant saves against hosts Brazil in the 2014 tournament to make his name on the international stage. He described the 0-0 draw as the “match of my life.”
Ochoa also kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Germany at the 2018 World Cup, putting in another outstanding performance with a string of saves.
Although the Poland match won’t be remembered for long, it was another impressive contribution from Ochoa at the World Cup.
The Guadalajara-born goalkeeper has played in France with Ajaccio and Spain for Malaga and Granada, but he is largely known for his heroics in this competition.
“He was the hero, if he had not saved the penalty we’d have gone one down. ‘Memo’ always appears when you need him to,” said defender Jorge Sanchez.
“The save was a real boost in that moment, we know what a great stopper he is, what a great leader he is,” added midfielder Charly Rodriguez.
Mexico next play Argentina, who were stunned 2-1 by Saudi Arabia earlier Tuesday.

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