Mexico has shocked the world with an amazing and hard-fought 1-0 victory over the defending World Champions, Germany. For Germany, this is the first time since 1982 that they’ve lost their opening group game.
Five things from this match:
1. Mexico was strong: Mexico came into this match with all the odds stacked against them. They stepped on the pitch and immediately went to work penetrating through the strong and heavy German defense. Mexico show absolutely no fear and eager to challenge the defending world champions.
2. Mexico was focused: Germany was unable to take advantage of any chances thrown at them and Mexico would take advantage of Germany’s miscues. Mexico did a good job of not allowing frustration get the better of them. Unfortunately, Germany made the mistake of allowing their frustration get the better of them. The most important thing is that Mexico did not lose concentration after scoring a goal in the 35th minute. As Germany still had all the time in the world to equalize, Mexico knew if they lost concentration, Germany would take advantage and spoil their momentum.
3. Germany panicked and cracked under heavy pressure: The pressure truly affected Germany’s ability to equalize as Germany had numerous golden opportunities to score but at the very last second, they’d crumble under the intense pressure. The Germans were not looking like their usual selves. Germany certainly was focused as they dominated possession of the ball and had nearly 600 passes. It’s just that Germany could not take advantage of their chances. ESPN FC’s Stewart Robson said Germany lacked athleticism.
4. Germany and Mexico’s defenses were well-organized: Aside from Mexico’s game-winning goal, the defenses from both teams made this game special. Mexico spent the entire game denying Germany while Germany did well to prevent Mexico from scoring again, although Germany did get away with a foul that should have awarded Mexico a penalty kick. Both teams did a good job of finding ways to clear the ball away from their goalkeeper at the last second. Mexico’s defense managed to bail itself out each time while the German defense failed once, courtesy of a Mexican counterattack.
5. Mexico’s goalkeeper was in elite form: Perhaps this will be Guillermo Ochoa’s second most memorable performance. Four years ago, in a group stage match against Brazil, he had a total of six saves as Mexico held Brazil to a 0-0 draw, making him the man of the match, as well as a national hero in Mexico. Against Germany, he made a total of nine saves and looked stronger than ever. Ochoa did a good job of positioning himself in the right places. Germany had a total of eight corner kicks and with the help of his teammates, he was able to clear the ball away and help his team hold on to their lead.
Germany takes on Sweden next as they need to come up with a new-and=improved game plan. It’s time for some tactic changing. They’ll be in for another challenge as Sweden prevented Italy from qualifying, making Sweden a legitimate threat to Germany’s chances of advancing.
Mexico takes on South Korea next. Mexico needs to study the South Korea defense system and come up with ways to score some more goals. The defense should be ready for anything as well.