Opening defeat for Kimmich and Germany
There was disappointment for Germany as the world champions opened their World Cup defence with a 1-0 defeat to Mexico. Joachim Löw fielded five Bayern players in the starting XI in Moscow, but the 2014 winners were punished for a poor first-half performance. Germany play their second group game against Sweden on Saturday 23 July (20.00 CEST) in Sochi.
The Germany defence, featuring goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, centre-backs Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, and full-back Joshua Kimmich were kept particularly busy in the opening 45 minutes. Die Mannschaft allowed the Mexicans plenty of chances, which they failed to take. However, El Tri finally put away a counter-attack through Hirving Lozano in the 35th minute. Thomas Müller struggled to get into the game on the right wing during the first half, much like the rest of the German attack.
Germany put on a better display after the break, but failed to find a way through the Mexican defence. It was not until the final 15 minutes that the world champions started to create more chances, with Müller and Kimmich often involved. The equalising goal, however, failed to materialise. Germany were often thwarted at the last second by a Mexico defender or the woodwork, as was the case for Julian Brandt's audacious effort one minute from time. All five FCB players completed the game. Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy were both unused subs.