World Cup: Fresno soccer fans celebrate Mexico's tie against Brazil (video)

The Fresno BeeJune 17, 2014 

Nearly 150 Mexico fans gathered at Fat Boys Taqueria in northwest Fresno to watch El Tri force a scoreless draw against Brazil in a World Cup match on June 17.

THE FRESNO BEE

Local fans of El Tri celebrated Tuesday afternoon as if Mexico had beaten Brazil in a Group A match of the World Cup.

They danced, shouted out gritos (whoops) exchanged abrazos (hugs) and mixed in some high-fives -- all to celebrate a scoreless draw, but one that came against the powerful host nation.

"This game meant everything," an ecstatic Antonio Alvarez said.

"It's a big, big point. Un gran punto!" he shouted as he pumped his fist.

Alvarez, 38, of Fresno was joined by more than a dozen family members and friends as part of the nearly 150 people watching the match at Fat Boys Taqueria in northwest Fresno.

With neither team breaking through on the scoreboard, fans' hearts raced for the full 90-plus minutes.

"It was one of the most exciting matches to watch so far," said Angela Yanez, a Fresnan and one of a few Brazil fans on hand. "This match was of actual World Cup caliber."

Fans moaned and groaned after near misses on goal from Mexican midfielders Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado.

And the biggest cheers came when Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made one of his many acrobatic saves to deny Neymar, Thiago Silva and Co.

Fans at Fat Boys chanted his name -- "Ochoa, Ochoa" -- louder than even their "Mexico, Mexico!" and "Si se puede" ("Yes we can") chants.

Said Alvarez: "Ochoa played amazing in goal. His performance alone could mean a trip to the next round."

One fan said he called in sick to work to catch the game.

"This is everything!" said the man in his mid-50s, adding to the World Cup atmosphere in his Chicharito jersey.

"It makes you feel at home watching with hundreds of other Mexico fans," he said. "It doesn't get any better than this and it was an incredible game."

Mexico and Brazil each earned a point and share first in the group with four through two matches. The group's other two teams, Croatia and Cameroon, play at 3 p.m. today. The final two group matches -- Brazil vs. Cameroon and Croatia vs. Mexico -- are 1 p.m. Monday.

The reporter can be reached at amoreno@fresnobee.com, (559) 441-6401 or @anhelllll on Twitter.

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