Neighbour Dave has featured in a few of my columns over the years. He is my sounding board for the daily issues that present themselves in both football and sport in general.
Hirving Lozano’s first half-goal proved to be the difference in the end in gaining an important three points for Mexico against Germany at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Germany were all over the place for the majority of the first half, and there were warning signs within the early minutes when Mexico managed to get a few opportunities away.
Joachim Low’s side were playing far too high of a line, and with the pace in the Mexican side, they completed exploited that throughout.
Germany’s midfield was completely non-existent which certainly did not help the problem.
Javier Hernandez had a few opportunities to put his side ahead, but he didn’t have the composure when needed.
Lozano on the other hand didn’t panic and took his opportunity with both hands in the 35th minute. With that, his side took a well-deserved 1-0 lead into the break.
In the second half, Germany huffed and puffed, but they couldn’t break down a stubborn Mexican side that played on the break to perfection.
They had no choice but to chase the game, and with that, played an even higher line.
There were certainly plenty of nervy moments for Mexico as there is no denying that Low’s side were the better of the two in the second half, but they couldn’t find a way to get that equaliser they desperately needed.
Julian Brandt came the closest with a rocket from outside the box, but it was just wide.
Despite Germany’s dominance in the second half, Mexico had more than enough chances to bury the game through the likes of Hernandez, but they just weren’t efficient enough going forward, and that is somewhere they will need to improve.
Mexico have always had the ability to surprise, and only one game in, they’re at it again. Who knows what this will do for them going forward, but their style of play could really go far.
Sitting deep and utilising their pace against a team that played a high line worked superbly for them. The deeper they get in the tournament, the more they can play like that as they will play better sides, and with that, sides who will want to play football against them like Germany did.
Germany will no doubt still be feeling confident they can get out of the group with games against Sweden and Korea Republic to come, but this is a little bit of a blow to the confidence of the depending champions.