England, Mexico battle to draw at World Cup
Mexican Monica Ocampo scored highlight reel goal
Monica Ocampo equalized from 30 metres to give plucky Mexico a 1-1 draw with England at the Women's World Cup on Monday from Grmany, scoring only her country's second goal at the tournament and first since 1999.
Ocampo struck in the 33rd minute in Mexico's second attack of the game, the ball flying past helpless goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the top left corner.
Fara Williams gave England the lead in the 21st minute from a corner by striker Kelly Smith before 18,702 fans under a cloudless blue sky at the 26,067-capacity Wolfsburg Arena.
Smith and Ocampo both went close from free kicks in the final minutes, before England captain Faye White's headed clearance prevented Ocampo from scoring again near the end.
"Today is a very special day for Mexican football," Mexico coach Leonardo Cuellar said. "I didn't like the beginning of it ... I liked the end."
His England counterpart, Hope Powell, was pragmatic in her appraisal.
"I'm pleased that we didn't lose the game, disappointed we didn't win it," she said.
Mexico had a penalty appeal waved away by Peruvian referee Silvia Reyes in the 60th, when Alina Garciamendez was brought down by Rachel Unitt. TV replays showed the England defender failed to get a touch on the ball.
Japan tops Group B after star player Aya Miyama's perfect free kick gave her side a 2-1 win over New Zealand earlier Monday.
"We're a very humble team," Cuellar said. "We're here to work, to leave everything on the field."
Mexico captain Maribel Dominguez had the game's first chance in the fourth minute, but she hesitated when through on goal to allow White time to scramble the ball away.
England gained confidence as the Mexicans increasingly defended in numbers, with Rachel Yankey, Eniola Aluko and Karen Carney all missing chances.
Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago denied Yankey from long range, before twice saving from Williams in quick succession.
A reinvigorated Mexico might have taken the lead into halftime but for some poor finishing before the interval.
Dominguez had another chance from a promising position in the 49th, after a handball from Jill Scott handball, but drilled her shot narrowly wide. Aluko then missed from close range.
"If you felt you had opportunities to win the game, then you're disappointed," Powell said. "Basically, we've got to recover and go again."