Group F: Hirving Lozano the hero as Mexico stun Germany in Fifa World Cup
WORLD CUP 2018 By Robin Toskin in Moscow, Russia | June 17th 2018
Mexico produced the first surprise result of the 2018 Fifa World Cup here in Moscow, Russia, by beating defending champions 1-0 in A Group F tie at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Hirving Lozano was the hero of the evening after drilling inside of goalkeeper Manuel Manuer in the 35th minute.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos came closest to evening matters when his free-kick came off the post after Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa palmed it the ball.
In an evening that saw former Barcelona centre back Rafael Marquez equal the record of playing in five Fifa World Cups, Mexico were brilliant going forward and gave little to the reigning champions at the back.
Coach Joachim Low started with Marvin Plattenhardt ahead of Jonas Hector while Marco Reus had to wait for his World Cup debut on the bench while Julian Draxler who was selected ahead of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane started.
Mesut Ozil started in midfield as usual but Marco Reus started on the bench.
Manuel Neuer also started in goal despite missing most of the club season with a foot fracture.
Mexico's coach Juan Osorio started with Jesus Gallardo ahead of Giovani dos Santos whose fitness and form have been a concern.
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Right fullback Miguel Layun started in the right of midfielder to as coach Osorio sought to give Carlos Salcedo.
Mexico brought in Hugo Ayala in defence as the replacement for the injured Diego Reyes.
The match got off to a cracking start with Leipzig firing the first shot in the ninth minute but his fizzing shot flew past the far right post.
Mexico went into attack after just three minutes with Carlos Vela slipping the ball to Lozano, who had managed to race into the box, but a last ditch sliding challenge from Jerome Boateng put the ball behind for a fruitless corner.
Germany opted to defend high up their backline, a move that Mexico used to devastating effect in the 35th minute.
Javier Hernandez ‘Chicharito’ broke free to find Hirving Lozano on the left, who cut inwards with ease before drilling home at Manuel Neuer’s near post.
The four-time champions Germany almost had a response two minutes later when Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos drilled a free-kick against the cross bar.
Lozano had brought down Joshua Kimmich 25 yards out and when Kroos struck with venom, goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa did well to palm the ball on to the crossbar.
The first half ended with Germany with 65 percent of possession, but it was the Mexicans who were posing the greatest danger going forward.
Try as they did in the second half, Germany failed to breach the Mexican defence even with 67 percent of possession.
Mexico deservedly went top of Group F that also has South Korea and Sweden.
1- Manuel Neuer, 17- Jerome Boateng , 5-Matt Hummels
2 –Marvin Plattenhardt (23 -Mario Gómez 80’), 18 –Joshua Kimmich, 10-Mesut Özil, 6 -Sami Khedira (11 - Marco Reus 60’), 8-Toni Kroos, 7 -Julian Draxler 13-Thomas Müller, 9-Timo Werner (20-Julian Brandt).
Coach: Joachim Löw
Subs not used
4 -M. Ginte, 12 – Kevin Trapp, 14 - Leon Goretzka, 15 -N. Süle, 16- Antonio Rüdiger, 19 -Sebastian Rudy, 21 -?kay Gündo?an, 22 –Marc Andre ter Stegen,
13-Guillermo Ochoa, 2-Hugo Ayala, 15 -H. Moreno, 7-Miguel. Layún, 3 –Carlos Salcedo, 18-Andres Guardado (4-Rafael Márquez 74’), 16-Hector Herrera, 23 -Jesus Gallardo, 11-Carlos Vela (21 Edson Álvarez 58’), 14 -Javier Hernández, 22 -Hirving Lozano (9-Raul Jiménez 66’)
Coach: J. Osorio
Subs not used
1 José Corona 5-Érick Gutiérrez, 6-Jonathan dos Santos, 8-Marco Fabián, 10 Giovanni dos Santos, 12- Alfredo Talavera, 17-Jesús Corona, 19-Oribe Peralta, 20- Javier Aquino