Coach Ricardo La Volpe hailed Oswaldo Sanchez after the grieving goalkeeper featured in Mexico's 3-1 opening Group D World Cup win over Iran.
Sanchez sinks to his knees after an emotional victory
Sanchez, who had only rejoined the team a day earlier after flying back home last week for his father's funeral, was mobbed by team-mates after the match.
La Volpe said: "The confidence Felipe (Sanchez's father) gave him was like an angel from up above watching him.
"With that angel watching I'm sure he will be able to make a lot of saves."
The decision to play the 32-year-old Sanchez was only made on the morning of the game, and he justified his selection with a fine early save to deny Vahid Hashemian.
Two goals in the last 15 minutes, including a second from Omar Bravo, sealed the win at the Franken-Stadion.
"The crowd motivated us, gave us more incentive," said the Argentine La Volpe.
"I believe in the second half they got behind us more and for that reason we won. The team started to loosen up, play better touch football."
Mexico, rated fourth in Fifa's world rankings, next face World Cup debutants Angola in Hanover on Friday.