Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Germany 'under pressure' after Mexico defeat, says Kroos

Germany coach Joachim Low lifts the 2014 World Cup Germany are looking to become the first side since Brazil in 1962 to win back-to-back World Cups
Domingo Copeland | 21 June, 2018, 22:22

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group F - Germany vs Mexico - Moscow, Russia - June 17, 2018 Mexico's fans celebrate victory of their team after the match. "We weren't able to impose our usual way of playing, our attacking and passing was not effective". "In many previous tournaments we've always won the first match but we have to accept it".

The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy. Germany upped the tempo in the second 45 minutes but couldn't convert their chances.

Loew said while he was not planning to overhaul his plans for the remaining Group F matches against Sweden and South Korea, his team would bounce back.

Mexico's defender Hector Moreno (L) and Germany's forward Thomas Mueller (2L) vie for the ball. "Our team has experience of dealing with losses, the next match will be decisive and we have to win it".

"We will not change our gameplan".

But with pressure now mounting and some veiled criticism from his players, including Marco Reus, who said he had been told weeks ago he would not be starting the game despite his current fine form, Loew knows he must deliver.

So when a German move broke down in the 35th minute, we had already seen four rehearsals of what happened next: Vela to Hernandez to Lozano to his right foot, and this time to the back of net, with Neuer beaten at his near post.

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The champions went into the tournament on the back of a hard build-up, as Manuel Neuer had been out injured for practically the whole season, while Mesut Ozil started despite controversy for posing with the President of Turkey. We chose Hirving Lozano, who is our fastest player, and we wanted to hurt them on the counter attack.

"Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back". He outpaced Jerome Boateng and with a less than flawless pass found Lozano, who controlled the ball, cut inside Mesut Ozil, held off a charging Toni Kroos and slotted coolly past Manuel Neuer.

"I believe 100 percent in our players and I think that with our midfielders we can fight for ball possession", he said.

Osorio beefed up his defences to hang on, pulling off Lozano with a quarter of an hour left and sending in 39-year-old Rafael Marquez at the back to become the third man ever to play in five World Cups.

Chicharito had penalty appeals when he sprung the offside trap and went down under a nudge, but Mexico were increasingly exhausted and in the final minutes substitute Julian Brandt saw his strike clip the outside of the upright.

One desperate last attack then had Neuer come up for a corner before Mexico closed out an unforgettable triumph.

A day earlier, Mexico's Colombian manager Juan Carlos Osorio said he had drummed into his charges that they were not to be overawed by their highly-touted opponents, and with this win, they demonstrated they clearly were not.

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