In Depth

A tale of two goalkeepers for Ochoa and Akinfeev

World Cup whispers: Russia and Mexico draw, Belgium have a narrow escape

Akinfeev Russia goalkeeper
OCHOA GETS BANKS TRENDING ON TWITTER

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was the toast of the World Cup after his performance against Brazil. He pulled off a string of fine saves to earn his side a draw, but there was one in particular, a full length save from a Neymar header, that drew comparisons with Gordon Banks's incredible stop from Pele in 1970. Both saves were full length dives to the keeper's right to save a powerful header from Brazil's star player and Gordon Banks even started trending on Twitter after the save.

... BUT AKINFEEV CHANNELS PAT BONNER

While Ochoa was being hailed as the new Banks, spare a thought for Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who recreated Pat Bonner's infamous howler for Ireland in 1994 as he let the ball slip though his hands against South Korea. The 28-year-old was already having an off night when Lee Keun-ho tried his luck from 25 yards. The tame shot flew straight at Akinfeev, but the keeper somehow fumbled the ball into the net. Luckily his team mates undid some of the damage by salvaging a 1-1 draw.

 
SUBS SPARE BELGIUM'S BLUSHES AGAINST ALGERIA

World Cup dark horses Belgium got off to a shaky start in Belo Horizonte last night, as they were forced to come from behind to beat African minnows Algeria 2-1. A Sofiane Feghouli penalty put Algeria ahead mid-way through the first half but second-half changes paid off as Belgium reverted to a more direct approach. A 70th minute header from substitute Marouane Fellaini drew the Red Devils level before fellow substitute, Dries Mertens, lashed home the winner ten minutes from time.

LIFE IS NOT SWEET FOR URUGUAY

Forget Luis Suarez's knee, Uruguay have far more serious problems to deal with ahead of their do-or-die clash with England on Thursday: the confiscation of the squad's supply of dulce le leche caramel paste. The sweet spread is incredibly popular in Uruguay and the squad brought 39kg of the stuff with them to Brazil. Unfortunately for Suarez and co, it is classed as a milk product and the cargo was confiscated when they arrived. They can have it back when they produce the right documentation or leave the country.

GOOGLE GOES WORLD CUP CRAZY

One team that is not in Brazil but is working hard throughout the World Cup is the Google Doodle design team. By Wednesday morning the search engine had used 15 different World Cup-themed doodles on its home page in less than a week, with the promise of more to come. There have been special designs ahead of games including Spain v Netherland, England v Italy and USA v Ghana, while other versions have celebrated the life and work of Paul the Octopus.

MARACANA FOOTAGE RAISES SAFETY FEARS

Fresh concerns have been raised over stadium safety in Brazil after fans were filmed climbing an unstable staircase at the Maracana during Sunday's game between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Rio state government says the wooden staircase has been inspected ahead of tonight's game between Spain and Chile, but there's still "concern the structure could collapse" under the weight of visiting fans, reports the Daily Mail.

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