World Cup 2018: Germany Vs. Mexico - Am I Loco To Think That The Quinto Partido Is Possible?

Mexico have advanced to the knock-out stages of the World Cup and are one game closer to making to to the quarterfinals - a feat they have yet to accomplish in their last six attempts. Hirving Lozano was Mexico's star as he scored the lone goal to give them the unlikeliest of victories against the defending champions. This is not unprecedented. In three of the last four World Cups the defending champions have lost their opening games. 

Mexico were red-hot right from the get go with lozano breaking down and getting bast Joshua Kimmich on the left flank before have his attempt on goal be cut off by Jerome Boateng for an early corner. Germany answered back with Kimmich finding German Striker Timo Werner who attempted to beat Guillermo Ochoa with to low shot across from goal and sent it beyond the far post. 

The two sides traded blows back and forth treating fans at the Luzhniki Stadium to attack football on both ends of the pitch. The best chance of the game came 17 minutes into the first half when Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez held on to the ball for too long and failed to get a clean shot on goal after getting played in by Carlos Vela. Germany were able to get enough numbers back to extinguish this Mexican attack and responded with a TImo Werner shot straight at the goalkeeper with an unmarked Draxler anticipating a pass to himself but did so in vain. 

Mexico continued to enjoy a large share of attacking threats and chances creating many a opportunity to thwart German No.1 and captain Manuel Neuer. With 35 minutes of the game gone by, Mexico once again found themselves on the break. Forcing another German turnover, the ball found its way to Lozano at the edge of the box to get away from Ozil to drive a low shot in past Neuer. Toni Kroos and his German side did not let this setback get the best of them as his free kick attempt was deflected onto the crossbar by Ochoa to give Mexico a one-nil lead at the half. 

Germany was expected to rally themselves in the second half as a restless Joachim Loew would have likely had some choice words for his squad for their poor first half performance.

Germany and Mexico bartered shots on target back and forth. This can easily summarize the script for the second half. Both sides were able to get the ball forward without creating any substantial shots. At the end of it all, Mexico come out the victor by being disciplined defensively and getting behind German lines to test their defenders and Manuel Neuer. 

Loew and Germany have to introspect on their failures from tonight's game. This was an uncharacteristic game for them as El Tri layed out a blueprint for how other sides should tackle the defending champions. Leroy Sane is truly missed. He would have provided dynamic wide play that Germany sorely missed tonight. Loew needs to play his players in their proper positions - like having Thomas Muller in a more central role - while benching his favourites in favour of players who are match fit. Germany can still advance deep into this tournament but their chances of winning repeating as champions have been severly hindered.     

Man of the Match: Juan Carlos Osorio. This might come as a shock to most but Mexico's manager got his tactics right. Instead of letting his team sit back and absorb pressure his decision to let his players field a more free flowing approach ensured that Germany were always on the backfoot. His side defended well and denied Germany any clear cut opportunities. When his side appeared to tire out, his substitutions were key to ensuring that his ride remained relentless in forcing Germany's defenders into tough situations without comprising on their defensive identity. 


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