Sloppy Germany pay dearly against Mexico

Amol Gokhale
Monday, 18 June 2018

Title defence of Joachim Loew’s men gets off to a poor start with a shocking 1-0 loss to Central American nation

Moscow: Football isn't that simple a game after all, as Gary Lineker says. At the end of the 90 minutes, Germans can lose.

The title defence for the Joachim Loew's men got off to a really poor start as 'Die Mannschaft' suffered a shocking 1-0 defeat against Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium here on Sunday evening.

As much as Germany were sloppy, Mexico were razor sharp on the counter-attack, piercing German defence every time the Javier Hernandez 'Chicharito', Hirving Lozano and Miguel Layun were set free.

PSV winger Lozano, who was all over the German defence in the first half with his darting runs and got the reward in the 35th minute.

The 23-year-old player cut back inside after being fed by Chicharito on one of the threatening counters and fired a shot past Manuel Neuer at the near post from 12-yards out.

Unwanted record
Germany earned themselves an unwanted record of starting the title defence on a losing note, becoming the fourth team since 1990 to lose the opener. 

It is the second consecutive World Cup where the defending champions have failed to register a win after Spain were hammered 5-1 by the Netherlands in 2014. 

Also, it is worth remembering that last two winners of the World Cups have made the exits at the group stage. Although Germany at the end may not join Italy and Spain on that list, but they will certainly have to improve their game by some margin.

Sloppy Germany
As much as Mexico’s counter-attacking impressed the fans in Luzhniki Stadium, it was the sloppy show from the Germans that will have the German fans worrying.

The ever-reliable midfield pair of Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira were unable to boss the midfield as they are used to as Germany gave away possession needlessly. The gap between midfield and defence left them vulnerable to the counter and Mexico made them pay dearly.

Every time Mexico broke, it looked like they would go onto score as large number of Mexicans enjoyed the performance of their team. The impressive show from Juan Carlos Osorio comes on the back of a 4-1 defeat they suffered against Germany in the Confederations Cup last year.

In the second half, expectedly Loew made attacking changes, bringing on winger Marco Reus and striker Mario Gomez making it three strikers and four attacking midfielders at one point of time.

Toni Kroos, who recently won the second consecutive Champions League with Real Madrid was trying his best to beat Mexico custodian Guillermo Ochoa but without any luck, as his perfectly aimed free-kick just kissed the outside of the post and went out.

Julian Brandt, another attacking midfielder, who came on as a late substitute, rattled the outside of the post in the 89th minute with Germany's 24th shot of the match, but it just wasn't to be.

The shocking loss leaves Mexico in the driver's' seat with 3 points against their name in the Group F, while Loew will have to go back to a drawing board and devise a plan to bring the title defence on track, as they would like to avoid the feat Italy and Spain suffered - going out in the group stages.

Related News