This was a tense, hectic match that would shake anybody from the nerves. The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has its first absolute stunner. You just can’t miss a moment of this world cup edition. Defending champions Germany were tipped among the favorites to go all the way again in Russia, but it’s like the jinx continued for them as well. For the last three editions the defending champions have been eliminated in the group stages. After seeing today’s game one could definitely say that it can be a possibility in this tournament as well. Mexico on the other hand has advanced to the knockout stages for the last six campaigns. And by defeating Germany they have succeeded to some extent.
KICK-OFF! Let’s go through some of the special moments of the game:
- It was a strong start start by Mexico, as Lozano paced into the box from the left but his shot was blocked by Boateng which earned them a corner in the 2nd minute. The corner was easily checked by the German defensive lineup.
- In the 3rd minute Germany’s striker Werner showed his pace by latching onto Kimmich’s through ball but hitting a shot wide of the far post. Werner has big boots to fill with the likes of Mirsolav Klose and Lukas Podolski after the World Cup triumph in 2014 but he’s impressing here, using his pace to create difficulties for the Mexican defense.
- A fiery start to the game with teams attacked from both ends, though Germany started to settle and tried to control the tempo of the game.
- In the 9th minute Mexico earned a free kick in a dangerous central position, which was taken by Layun and his effort was way over Neuer’s bar.
- The very next minute Herrera tries a pop from distance but Neuer is equal to the effort. Mexicans were finding plenty of room behind Germany’s midfield easily.
- Mexico was dangerous and Germans were certainly not getting things their own way. The atmosphere within the stadium is tremendous.
- CHANCE! In the 14th Kroos concedes a free-kick for handball, believing he was fouled and grabbing onto it, but the referee isn’t ready to believe him. It’s whipped into the middle from the right top of the German box and Neuer made a decent save to deny Hector Moreno’s effort with the diving header.
- In the 15th minute Kimmich finds room on the right and crosses it towards the far post, where Khedira misses the ball and Salcedo pokes just wide of his own post for a corner kick. Toni Kroos with the delivery, but the Julian Draxler shot, from outside the box, was easily saved by Guillermo Ochoa.
- Germany looked very dangerous when they went forward but Mexico certainly possessed a threat at the other end. With Kimmich bombing forward from full-back, Lozano was finding plenty of space to run into.
- Good counter-attack from the Mexicans, but the final touch disappointed the move. The move started from German free-kick on the Mexican half. Golden opportunity for Mexico on the break as Vela charges forward into acres of room but his attempt to cut a ball into the middle is blocked.
- Germany are playing very risky at the back, providing encouragement for Mexico, and it’s only a matter of time before they get a clear-cut opening.
- It was a physical game, with fouls all over the field, but both sides were still yet to see a huge chance. Though Mexico was happy with how they had performed so far, keeping Germany relatively quiet in attack and also when their opponents push forward they created opportunities for counter attack.
- The first and the only goal of the game was scored in the 35th minute. Hernandez crossed it towards Lozano on the left, who cut inside and beat Ozil before hitting the ball low with his right foot into the bottom left-hand corner from 12 yards. Brilliant awareness from Hernandez, who could have taken on Boateng himself but unselfishly presented the ball to Lozano.
- Germany tried to get level immediately with a free-kick in a very dangerous area. Kroos fired the free-kick at goal to force a stunning save from Ochoa, who got a fingertip onto the ball to tip the attempt up against the bar.
- Germany continued to look weird in their attacks, misplacing passes and wasting opportunities, while their defense is being pierced by the pace of Mexico on the counter-attack.
- And it’s half time. Mexico was fantastic in the opening half and thoroughly deserved their lead. They haven’t allowed Toni Kroos any time on the ball, while Hirving Lozano has been deadly down the left and it’s his goal that has been the difference. Werner, who looked threatening when he’s found space in behind, needs more of the ball. Hummels and Boateng are required to improve, as they’ve struggled in the first half.
- It doesn’t look like a change of plan for Germany in the second half, as Kimmich still continued to push forward thus leaving plenty of space at the back.
- Mexico needed to keep their heads throughout the match as Germany would certainly increase the pressure as the game progressed but they looked solid till now. Germany had the lion’s share of possession in the minutes since the restart but they were yet to find a way through the Mexico defense.
- With just 30 minutes left in the match Germany adopted the attacking mode by bringing Marco Reus in the game and Mexicans replaced Vela with Alvarez was clearly a defensive tactic.
- Mexico packed the defense to limit the chances for Germany and they played a lot deeper in the second half trying to secure the win with just one goal.
- Germany are throwing everyone forward, with just Boateng at the back to protect Neuer’s net. Mexico could exploit that if they’re a bit braver but they’re content with what they have at the moment.
- Germany are running out of time but they remain patient looking for an opening.
- In the 76th minute a good cross in from Ozil and a first touch attempt by Kroos went just wide.
- Back to back chances for Germany as they are looking eagerly for an equalizer.
- A stunning strike from Julian Brandt went out of the goal hitting the post in the 89th minute. The ball dropped Brandt on the edge of the area and he smashed a ferocious attempt at goal which hits the outside of the post.
- And it’s FULL TIME!! GERMANY 0-1 MEXICO, it’s all over.
A huge result for Mexico and a score that will shock the World Cup. Hirving Lozano’s goal proved to be the difference but the entire Mexican performance was superb. Germany simply couldn’t cope with their counter-attacks and didn’t really create enough to break through a tough defensive line. The solitary goal was defended till the end to register a memorable victory over the four-time champions. Germany came out all guns blazing in the second half but all was in vain.
Germany’s title defense started on a wrong note and who knows they might continue with the trends of the past campaigns. You just don’t get the expected results in the game anymore.