Germany boss Joachim Low blames poor first half for Mexico World Cup loss

Germany coach Joachim Low admits his side paid the price for their poor first-half performance against Mexico.

The world champions lost their opening game at a World Cup for the first time in 36 years as Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat in their Group F clash in Moscow on Sunday afternoon.

Mexico missed several chances in the first 45 minutes and, while German substitutes Mario Gomez and Julian Brandt went close late on, they could not recover from their slow start.

“In the first half we played very badly,” Low said.

“We were not able to impose our usual way of playing, our attacking and passing was not effective.

“We were not effective in the spaces. There were lots of counter-attacks and we had to run back a lot and of course, we were very vulnerable because we lost the ball in our forward movement and that left an open gap.”

He added: “In the second half we pressed more but Mexico also dropped back.

“We had a couple of shots on goal but somehow it seemed jinxed, the ball wouldn’t go in. Sometimes they were a bit too quick in shooting, did not take their time, did not keep their cool.”

Germany, who have never failed to reach the knockout stage at a World Cup, will now look to bounce back when they face Sweden in Sochi on Saturday ahead of their final group game with South Korea.

And despite his disappointment, Low insists their approach will not change.

He said: “Of course, everybody is really unhappy and crestfallen, but tomorrow we have to look forward.

“We have to put this behind us. Our team certainly has experience in dealing with losses and it goes without saying that the next match will be decisive for us. We have to win it.

“We will not change our gameplan. 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.”

Mexico boss Juan Carlos Osorio also felt his side’s victory was built upon their superiority in the first 45 minutes.

He said: “In the first half, we managed to play defensively with a great deal of intelligence and to hurt them on the counter. We could have actually scored much earlier.

“With all due respect, I think that in the first half of the match we were the superior team. In the second half we knew full well that the reigning world champion, Germany, has an outstanding team.”

He added: “They played with bravery when it was needed and we also defended with all our hearts and I think that we need to give all the credit where it is due, and that is with the players.”