|Fans celebrate as Mexico pull of a stunning result against the reigning champions (Image from the mirror)|
In the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Mexico shocked holders Germany with a 1-0 win, as promising talent Hirving Lozano scored the only goal of the game. Germany had plenty of the ball but struggled creating chances and they were constantly exposed at the back. Mexico took advantage of this several times throughout this match, playing entertaining counter attacking football.
Mexico started off on the front foot, with Jerome Boateng having to make a decisive last-ditch tackle, to prevent Lozano from netting an early goal. But for the majority of the game, Germany kept the ball in Mexico’s half, struggling to find any clear-cut opportunities due to a resolute defensive performance from the opposition. Mexico would always leave a few attackers around the half-way line and time and time again as they got the ball back, they would quickly counter attack. Germany looked vulnerable at the back as their full backs would commit themselves to far forward and not put in the defensive effort to prevent Mexico from counter attacking. Germany paid the price for this, when their centre back Hummels lost the ball too far in Mexico’s half, and Hernandez could charge forward, laying the ball off to Lozano who cut in and finished the move with a goal.
|Goalscorer Lozano (Image from NewsOK)|
Germany almost replied instantly as Mexico’s keeper Ochoa tipped Kroos’ free kick onto the crossbar. Despite Mexico’s energetic counter-attacking performance, they weren’t quite clinical enough, wasting several chances when they found themselves in plenty of space. However, with a solid defensive display, Mexico managed to hold on with Germany having a few close chances, including substitute Julian Brandt’s superb volley, which skimmed the outside of the post. Despite dominating possession, Germany were unconvincing and they certainly need to up their game in their next match against Sweden if they want to avoid being the next victims of the ‘curse of the champions’. Mexico however put in a vibrant performance and they will believe they can finish top of their group after beating the favourites.
Germany Player Ratings
Manuel Neuer (6) – Maybe could have done better with Lozano’s shot but didn’t do much wrong otherwise
Joshua Kimmich (6) – Despite posing a very strong attacking threat, did not do his defensive duty leaving Germany constantly caught out at the back
Mats Hummels (5) – Found missing during Mexico’s goal after overcommitting on the attack
Jerome Boateng (6) – Put in a decent defensive performance but did find himself isolated at the back during Mexico’s attack
Marvin Plattenhardt (4) – Poor defensively and didn’t do a huge amount on the attack either
Sami Khedira (4) – Didn’t contribute much at all, barely noticeable. Got subbed off early in the second half.
|A dire performance from the German midfield (Image from BBC Sport)|
Toni Kroos (6) – He was kept quite by man marking in the first half, but in the second half he did put in more effort. Unlucky to hit the woodwork with his free-kick.
Julian Draxler (5) – Mediocre performance, couldn’t create much
Thomas Muller (5) – Also a forgettable game for him
Mesut Ozil (5) – Didn’t get involved enough in the game
Timo Werner (6) – Had a couple of good chances but didn’t receive enough service, so he didn’t reach his potential
Mexico Player Ratings
Guillermo Ochoa (7) – Did his job when called upon but didn’t have much to do. Produced a good finger-tip save onto the crossbar from Kroos’ free kick.
Carlos Salcedo (6) – Part of a resolute Mexican defence but not really tested as much as he would have expected to be
Hugo Ayala (7) – Strong performance from him, didn’t let much get past.
Hector Moreno (6) – Did a good job in the back four, picked up a yellow card.
Jesus Gallardo (7) – Put in a very strong shift at left back, where many of the German attacks came through
Hector Herrera (8) – One of Mexico’s best players, was a key driving force in their attack yet also and did his defensive duties, helping to win the ball back
Andre Guardado (7) – Lead his team well to contain Germany’s attack
Miguel Layun (6) – A key component in Mexico’s attack but often wasteful in the final product
Carlos Vela (7) – Also regularly involved in the counter attacks yet also played a defensive role in keeping Toni Kroos quiet during the first half
Javier Hernandez (7) – Played the ball well to assist Lozano for the goal but was also a little wasteful up front
Hirving Lozano (8) – Mexico’s danger man produced the winning goal as well as some fantastic runs down the wing. Could well be a surprise star of the tournament.
|A strong performance from Hector Herrera (Image from Goal)|
Man of the Match: Hector Herrera – The dynamic centre midfielder was the engine of Mexico’s team and put in a brilliant all-round performance.