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Monday, June 18, 2018

Mexico sinks World champions

It was a defeat that left Germany "crestfallen", was described as an 'embarrassment' by the country's media and even triggered an earth tremor, such were the celebrations in Mexico.

World Cup holders Germany looked a shadow of their usual selves as they were humbled 1-0 in Moscow - and the result could have been much worse for them.

But despite the loss - the first for a German team in a World Cup opener since 1982 - coach Joachim Low remains confident that his side will progress to the knockout stage in Russia.

PSV winger Hirving Lozano scored the only goal of the game when he broke down the left, cut inside past a weak challenge from Mesut Ozil and fired past Manuel Neuer at the near post.

It was not a one-off. Time and again Mexico caught Germany on the counter, with the world champions made to look cumbersome and slow to react in midfield.
I was massively impressed by Mexico, give them their due," said former Scotland winger Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 live.

"They played two or three types of football today. They should have scored three, four, five on the break. Then they had to hang on in the end."

German football writer Raphael Honigstein told 5 live that the problem was "a lack of pace in transition when Germany need to defend" but after the game Low was loathe to commit to a change in tactics.

"We will certainly not change our match plan," he said.

"In the first half, we played very badly, we were not able to impose our usual way of playing, attacking and there were lots of counter attacks against us and we were very vulnerable.

"Everybody is really unhappy and crestfallen but we have to put this behind us. Our team has experience of losses."

Former England captain Terry Butcher said on 5 live: "It was one of the best games I have seen in my life. But Germany had no plan B, no clear chances and no defensive intelligence."
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