After winning gold in The 2012 London Olympics, Mexico tied Germany in the group opener to kick off Rio 2016.
Four years ago, Mexico was on top of the podium in the London 2012 Olympics as they defeated a Brazilian team full of stars such as Neymar, Oscar, and Hulk. In this edition of the Summer Olympics in Rio, the Mexican team comes with the obligation of taking home a medal.
The first half lacked emotion and opportunities as the ball largely remained in the center of the pitch. Hirving Lozano had the clearest chance for Mexico in the 27th minute as he missed a wide open opportunity after a great pass by Oribe Peralta. Mexico was showing signs of superiority against Germany and things got worse for the Germans when their captain Leon Goretzka sustained an injury and was subbed off for Serge Gnabry. After coming on, the Arsenal man was a constant threat to the Mexican defense.
The second half was a back and forth struggle between both teams and had the emotion the first half lacked. Only seven minutes into the second half, Oribe Peralta, the hero for Mexico in the last olympics, scored the game opener with a header off a corner. This was Peralta’s first goal of the tournament and fifth in the past two Olympic Games. It didn’t take long for the Germans to level the score, however, with Gnabry tying things up for Germany in the 58th minute. Minutes later, though, Mexico reclaimed the lead when Lozano crossed the ball to Marco Bueno, who headed the ball off the post and into the path of Pizarro for an easy tap in. After the second goal, Mexico felt comfortable and tried to score a third goal that would wrap things up. In the 74th minute, Lozano had another chance to score and give his team 3 points, but he again hit the ball straight to the German goalkeeper. Just four minutes after Mexico could have scored the third goal, Germany tied things up at two with a header from Matthias Ginter.
An emotional match between two teams that have aspirations to win a medal for their respective countries. Mexico showed signs of superiority but lacked the cutting edge to put a tough German team to the sword, and the lack of quality in their finishing will need to improve going forward.