Germany ‘very bad’ in shock Mexico loss, says Loew

Moscow: Germany coach Joachim Loew said the defending World Cup champions played “very badly” in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Mexico, warning that the shock defeat left them with little margin for error in their remaining group games.
Germany’s preparations ahead of the World Cup were plagued by poor results and controversy, and their problems were magnified in Moscow as they crashed to their first defeat in the opening game of a World Cup since 1982.
Hirving Lozano’s 35th-minute strike at the Luzhniki Stadium earned Mexico just the second win over Germany in history, as Loew’s side paid the price for a dismal first half.
“In the first half we played very badly,” Loew said. “We weren’t able to impose our usual way of playing, our attacking and passing was not effective.”
“It’s disappointing to have lost the first match,” he added. “It’s a situation we’re not used to at all. In many previous tournaments we’ve always won the first match but we have to accept it.”
Germany’s proud record of never being eliminated in the group stage at a World Cup is already in danger.
And if they finish runners-up in Group F, Germany could be on course to face Brazil in a daunting second-round match-up.
Germany face Sweden in their next match on June 23 in Sochi before concluding their group campaign four days later in Kazan against South Korea. “The team has experience dealing with losses. It goes without saying that the next match will be decisive for us, we have to win it,” Loew said.
“We will not change our game plan. If we play out our ideas then we have players who are able to deliver.
“We need to focus on our strong points, which we haven’t been able to do in our last couple of games.
“We have three matches in the group phase and we have ample opportunities to correct this result.”
Loew started eight of the nine 2014 World Cup winners in his squad, with Mesut Ozil returning from a knee injury and Manuel Neuer back in goal following his lengthy absence.
‘Best goal’
After a remarkably open start, Mexico struck the decisive blow 10 minutes before half-time after Sami Khedira lost possession in the opposition half. Javier Hernandez triggered a lightning break before finding a charging Lozano, who cut inside a covering Ozil and lashed low inside Neuer’s near post to spark deafening roars from the sizeable Mexico support. “I think it’s definitely the best goal I’ve ever scored in my life, we all dream of playing in the World Cup,” PSV Eindhoven forward Lozano said. — AFP