After a horrendous build-up to the World Cup Finals, Germany made a limp start to their campaign as they were stunned 1-0 by Mexico. A first-half strike from Hirving Lozano proved to be decisive as Mexico hung on in the second half.
Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Plattenhardt (Gomez 79′), Khedira (Reusat 60′), Kroos, Müller, Özil, Draxler, Werner (Brandt 86′)
Mexico- Lozano 35′
Ochoa, Salcedo, Ayala, Moreno, Gallardo, Herrera, Guardado (Márquez 74′) Layun, Vela (Álvarez 58′), Lozano (Jiménez 66′), JavierHernández
Mexico Make Quick Start
With all the expectations on holders Germany, Mexico came out firing. They attacked with pace and putting the German back line under pressure from the off. The Mexicans pace seemed to give the Germans fits, as time and again they mounted waves of attacks. Their first real chance coming in the second minute as the Germans made a meal of a corner.
Timo Werner had Germany’s best chance of the early stages but he put a low effort harmlessly wide. Germany were supposed to have the edge in midfield, but the game was much too open, allowing the Mexicans to gain possession too easily and attack on the break.
18 minutes in and Javier Hernandez broke down the left side of the penalty area but chose to turn back inside rather than shooting with his left foot and the chance was gone. It was to prove a pattern as the majority of Mexico’s attacks would target the left channel of the German defence. And so it would prove for the goal.
Hernandez came away from an attempted challenge from Mats Hummels in the middle of the park after a neat one-two with Guardado. He played a perfectly weighted ball to Lozano on the left side of the box, who turned back in and calmly finishing past the flailing Neuer. It was no more than Mexico deserved, and in truth, they could’ve been three up at half-time.
Germany Show Some Fight
The Germans came out better in the second half as Mexico began to steadily drop deeper and deeper. But in truth, they struggled to create too many chances. The build-up play was somewhat ponderous and predictable. Always looking a threat on the counter Mexico had chances to put the game to bed.
But the Germans are nothing if not resilient and they stayed in the game all the way to the final whistle. The Germans came close a few times, a Gomez header going wide, and a long-range Brandt effort fizzing inches wide. Desperation sunk in late in the piece with Manuel Neuer going forward for a corner. But it wasn’t to be the Germans day as Mexico held on for a historic 1-0 win.
Germany will still be expecting to qualify from the group, but their path to the finals now looks to be much, much harder. Mexico will fancy their chances of taking the group now.