Win Over Germany Gives Mexico Control Of Their Destiny

Hirving Lozano and Jesus Gallardo of Mexico celebrates scoring during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on June 17, 2018 (Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Win Over Germany Gives Mexico Control Of Their Destiny

I’ll admit it – when Mexico was grouped with Germany back in December, my heart skipped a beat. The team had faced Germany in the Confederations Cup and it was not a good showing. Yes, there were injuries, but Juan Carlos Osorio’s side was dismantled easily by the Germany attack.

Fast forward to Monday, June 18, and I’m on cloud 9 after a 1-0 victory for Mexico.

Juan Carlos Osorio’s tactical and mental approach paid off huge for the underdogs. I was a pessimist going into this cup, especially with the level of difficulty ahead for the Mexicans who only had several strong non-CONCACAF matches under Osorio.

After defeating Germany, Mexico will need to celebrate and move on quickly. South Korea and Sweden are going to be playing for their lives when they face the Mexican team. However, if Juan Carlos Osorio prepares for the next two matches the way he did the Germany match, Mexico could possibly exit the group in first place.

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Juan Carlos Osorio’s team took the pitch in a 4-2-3-1. They knew Germany was going to try and exploit their defense, similarly to the Confederations semifinal, but Mexico looked even comfortable around the 20th minute. Their counter-attack was finally clicking, especially as the midfield closed off spaces for Germany. Many times, Germany resorted to crosses or switching the field, trying to catch Mexico off, but it wasn’t working.

Chucky Lozano’s 35th-minute goal was a stunner, but it’s exactly what Osorio planned for. Mexico’s attack is it’s strongest feature – pacey, strong control and dribbling. The only part Mexico will be kicking itself over is that they didn’t put away more, as they definitely had the chances.

The Mexican side did need a touch of brilliance from Guillermo Ochoa, but that’s not asking anything out of the ordinary for the keeper who won over non-Mexican hearts four years ago.

The victory over Germany is the first for Mexico since 1986 (at senior level) making the overall series more respectable at 2-5-5 (W-T-L). This is the not the first time Mexico showed up and played face-to-face with a heavy favorite.

I said on one of our podcasts here at The Stoppage Time last year after the semifinal loss that Mexico’s best XI can face anyone in the world – on Sunday at Luzhniki Stadium, they showed that.

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Bryan has been a writer for The Stoppage Time since 2015. He has been covering soccer since 2011 and is a Sports management & Communications graduate from Grand Canyon University.

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