Germany vs Mexico: 5 Talking Points, World Cup 2018
Defending World Cup champions Germany fell to a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in their Group F encounter at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday in what was a brave display of defending and counter-attacking football from El Tri.
Hirving Lozano scored the only goal of the game in the 35th minute before Mexico heroically absorbed wave after wave of attacks. The win sees them top the group with Sweden and South Korea set to play tomorrow.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Mexico's livelier start gives Germany problems
Germany may have started the game as clear favourites but it was Mexico that were pilling on the pressure at the start of the first half. The North American side were always looking to find one of their forwards with quick passes and a little more composure could have seen them score a goal or two early on.
In the first 15 minutes alone, Mexico had five shots on goal (from Hirving Lozano, Javier Hernandez, Miguel Layun, Hector Herrera, and even Hector Moreno).
If not for Germany's ability to quickly recover and set their defensive line in order, Mexico could have easily been in front. Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels had their task cut out and were kept very busy at the back - especially in the first half-hour of the game.
Mexico were able to cut through Germany's lines with ease thanks to some crisp passing and movement off the ball. Germany were playing so deep at times when Mexico dominated that even Toni Kroos had to drop deep and play on the edge of his own box to collect the ball and move it forward.
Mexico lacked composure at first, crowded out when they took too much time to make a decision. But one counter-attack was all they needed to finally open up the game.
With Mats Hummels drawn out of position, Mexico countered with two quick passes and Lozano had all the time in the world to set himself up for the shot. He nearly fluffed it but, in the end, he beat Neuer with a shot to his right to give Mexico the lead.