MEXICO CITY: Churchgoers in Mexico City have visited the St Gabriel Archangel Parish during every World Cup since 1970 and their prayers to the statue of baby Jesus dressed in the national team's kit seem to have been answered on Tuesday.
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa superbly saved a second-half penalty from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski as the North American side began their campaign in Qatar with a goalless draw.
"I believe that seeing him dressed like this will bring unity and thus be able to move forward in each match," Father Jose Guadalupe Godinez said about the Jesus statue, in an interview with Mexican newspaper Milenio.
The statue - known as the "Child of Miracles" - wears the full Mexican kit, accompanied by a ball and a flag, all donated by parishioners.
"I believe fans, before the game starts, pray to God and those parishioners look for a way to express their faith in this original idea," said Godinez.
Mexico will hope to continue enjoying good fortune on Saturday when they play a wounded Argentina, who suffered a shock loss to Saudi Arabia in their Group C opener.