World Cup 2018: Germany 'crestfallen' as shock Mexico defeat is called 'embarrassing'

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.

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"We will not suffer that fate, we will make it to the next round," he said.

"In tournaments, losing a match can happen and you have to accept it. We will not become reckless.

"We will continue to look forward. There is no reason to panic. We have three matches and ample opportunities to correct this result."

'It could have been five'

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.

"Mexico broke five or six times in the first half and they had two or three opportunities in the second half when just the final pass was lacking for them," said former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC One.

"It was an immaculate performance by them."

Germany starting XI
Should Germany change their midfield? This was their oldest starting XI for a World Cup match (27 years 310 days) since the 2002 final against Brazil (28 years 166 days) - which they also lost

"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."

'The silence will be scary'

Low and his players have a six-day wait to face Sweden and rebuild their campaign, with midfielder Toni Kroos admitting they "are now under pressure - we have to get six points from the next two games".

Bild headlines
German newspaper Bild labelled the defeat 'an embarrassing start'

Spain, in 2010, are the only side to win the World Cup after losing their opening match, when they were beaten by Switzerland.

"I remember on the bus from the hotel to play Chile, after losing our first game in 2010, the silence was scary," said Spain international Cesc Fabregas on BBC One.

"Germany have to return to what they were doing before. They have talent and they have to show up."

'Play with the love of winning, not the fear of losing'

Mexico had only beaten Germany once in 11 previous meetings - a 1985 friendly - but produced a superb performance in Moscow.

Even in the face of severe second-half German possession, they looked comfortable until substitute Julian Brandt hit the post with a fine late strike.

tremor in Mexico City
"Possibly by massive jumps at Mexico's goal at the World Cup. At least two sensors inside the city detected it at 11:32."

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio's bold approach - often leaving three attackers up the pitch even when defending set-pieces - paid off, as celebrating fans in Mexico City caused a minor earthquake. Possibly.external-link

"Our motto was play with the love of winning and not the fear of losing," Osorio said.

"In all due respect, in the first half we were the better team. In the second half they tried to attack more. We had practised defending with four midfielders and three players up front and that is almost how we got the second goal.

"We showed we have a bright future and I am very satisfied with what we did. We played with bravery when it was needed and also defended with all of our hearts."

'The worst start in 12 years'

  • Germany lost their opening match at a World Cup for only the second time, also doing so in 1982 against Algeria; they went on to reach the final that year.
  • Mexico won their opening match at a World Cup for the fifth time in their past six tournaments (drawing the other).
  • This is the third consecutive World Cup in which the reigning champions have failed to win their opening match - Italy drew 1-1 with Paraguay in 2010, while Spain lost 5-1 against the Netherlands in 2014.
  • Germany had won every one of their previous tournament openers at European Championships and World Cups since Joachim Low took over as coach in 2006.
  • Low's side had 26 shots, the most by a side without scoring in a World Cup match since 2006 (Portugal v England, 29 shots in a 0-0 draw).


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