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Mexico even with Germany in great match to keep undefeated streak

In a great game, El Tri got a 2-2 tie against Germany to extend their current undefeated streak to 7 games.

Mexico - Germany Photo by Federico Gambarini/picture alliance via Getty Images

Mexico stopped Germany’s plans for revenge for the 2018 World Cup by battling to a 2-2 tie on Tuesday night. Mexico gave one of their best performances, if not the best performance, under Coach Jaime Lozano and got the tie against a Germany team that has an elite squad and came from a dominating win against the United States on Saturday. It was a tough match, but Mexico held on defensively and struck at precise times to continue undefeated on friendlies in 2023 while having a 7 match undefeated streak since losing against Qatar in the 2023 Gold Cup, in their final group stage match before wining that tournament.

The first half started with Mexico coming with most of the same starting eleven they used against Ghana, the only changes being Santiago Gimenez, Jesus Gallardo, Uriel Antuna, and Luis Romo getting the start instead of Raul Jimenez, Gerardo Arteaga, Orbelin Pineda, and Luis Chavez. After Mexico gained the ball in the area the ball got to Romo, whose shot went right to Germany’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. After getting past his defender, Jamal Musiala got a cross into the area that found Florian Wirtz, whose right footed shot was blocked by Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who made a great stop. Mexico looked to have a good chance, but Hirving Lozano’s shot was blocked after not making a pass to Gimenez. After getting the ball in the area, Gimenez made a great turnaround left footed shot that was brilliantly saved by Ter Stegen, but the ref failed to see it and didn’t give a corner kick in a bad call. In what shouldn’t surprise anybody, Germany had more possession and looked more dangerous as Mexico sat back and countered, sometimes being very effective. Off of a corner kick, Leroy Sane’s great cross almost got headed in by Edson Alvarez in what would have been an own goal. On the next corner kick, Sane’s cross was headed back by Robin Gosens right into the path of a wide open Antonio Rudiger, who headed the ball from close range past Ochoa to score and give Germany the 1-0 lead. Once again, it was a set piece that doomed Mexico. Mexico tried to respond when Gimenez got into the area, but he seemed to be brought down by Rudiger before getting his shot off, although nothing was given. Off of a free kick, a cross by Gallardo found a wide open Gimenez but he sent his left footed shot well wide, missing a great chance. A cross into the area was headed by Pascal Gross, but Ochoa made a good save on it. Off of the corner kick, a second play occurred where the ball was crossed into the area and reached Thomas Muller, who scored but from a clearly offside position, and the goal was called off. Ochoa then surprised Germany by quickly taking the free kick. and the longball try was cleared by Rudiger, but Hirving Lozano made a great play and took the ball. “Chucky” was able to get past a defender and get off a great low cross into the area, and Uriel Antuna connected with a left footed shot from close range that went past Ter Stegen and into the net to give Mexico the goal that tied the match at 1-1. It was a great heads up play from Ochoa, but a wonderful effort from Lozano, who made a great play against Germany once again. Not surprisingly, the last minutes were dominated by Germany, but Mexico held on to remained tie at halftime.

The second half started with Germany subbing out Thomas Muller and Pascal Gross for Niclas Fullkrug and Leon Goretzka. Mexico went on the offense from the start, and once again surprised Germany. Jorge Sanchez made a run and found a wide open Antuna, who got off a great cross that Erick Sanchez headed in front of Niklas Sule and past Ter Stegen to go into the net and give Mexico the 2-1 lead. Germany responded almost immediately however on a corner kick when Gosens got a free header but incredibly, Goretzka got in the way and cleared the ball accidentally. They would not miss on their next chance, when Sane got past Gallardo and got off a good cross that was headed by Wirtz from close range, forcing Ochoa to make a great save. Unfortunately for him, the ball fell right to Niclas Fullkrug, who got off a right footed shot that Ochoa tried to stop but being already past the line, the ball bounced off the side net and remained in so it was a goal that gave Germany the 2-2 tie. Germany then subbed out Niklas Sule for Malick Thiaw. Mexico meanwhile subbed out Luis Romo and Erick Sanchez for Luis Chavez and Sebastian Cordova. Germany had more of the possession, continuing the same pattern, but Mexico still looked dangerous on the counters and were doing a good job of handling themselves. Germany subbed out Robin Gosens and Florian Wirtz for David Raum and Jonas Hofmann. A long ball into the area then found Gallardo and it looked like he was brought down by Thiaw, but nothing was given. Off a free kick, Chavez got a cross that turned into a shot and was saved by Ter Stegen. Germany responded with a good run that ended when a Goretzka through pass was saved by Ochoa before Sane could get to it. Mexico then subbed out Santiago Gimenez for Henry Martin. Musiala later made a great move to get past two defenders but his shot went wide. Mexico subbed out Uriel Antuna and Hirving Lozano (both of whom had a great match) for Cesar Huerta and Orbelin Pineda. After a free kick where it seemed he was pushed, Alvarez got into it with Rudiger and Sanchez got into it with Jonathan Tah in a mild scuffle in the area, but nothing came out of it. Germany subbed out Jamal Musiala for Kevin Behrens. After getting into the area, Raum looked to have been dropped but nothing was given and replays showed it was the correct call. Mexico then went on a counter, but while a great pass from Cordova found Huerta, he took too long and then when he finally got off his shot, it was blocked by Germany’s defense. In the end it was the last chance for either team, and Mexico took a great result to close out their US tour.

In the first re-match since their historic 2018 World Cup meeting, Mexico had a tough task but were able to get a point against Germany. While many people thought Germany was going to go with their bench, Coach Julian Nagelsmann decided to start most of their A team in only his second match at the helm of the club. Surely the meeting of that 2018 match, the best individual victory for Mexico in a World Cup which might have started the current negative streak Germany has been on, might have made for Germany to want to get the result. Mexico however did a great job under Lozano and got the best result aside from winning the 2023 Gold Cup, under his tenure. Mexico will now wait to see the rival for the 2023/2024 Nations League Quarterfinal, that should be Honduras, where Mexico will play for the ticket to the 2024 Copa America, to be held in the United States. It will be tough but Mexico comes out with almost as good a result as they could get before facing those matches.