Low concedes Germany in must-win territory after 'very bad' Mexico humbling

The reigning champions got the defence of their World Cup crown off to the worst possible start in Moscow, with there plenty of issues to address

Germany manager Joachim Low admits his side “played very badly” in a humbling 1-0 defeat to Mexico which leaves them playing catch-up in the defence of their World Cup crown.

The 2014 champions entered their opening Group F encounter in Moscow fancied by many to go all the way and secure back-to-back titles.

Mexico, however, contained and frustrated a star-studded side for long periods, with Hirving Lozano snatching what proved to be the decisive goal 10 minutes from half-time.

Low now has plenty of issues to address heading into a meeting with Sweden next weekend, with Germany requiring a marked improvement if they are to avoid suffering an early departure.

A man who also guided his team to Confederations Cup success in Russia in 2017 told reporters: “Indeed it is disappointing to have lost the first match, it’s a situation we are not used to at all, in the many tournaments before we always won the first match but we have to accept this situation.

“There will always be obstacles to overcome and in the next match we have to be much better.

“In the first half we played very badly, we were not able to impose our usual way of playing, attacking and our passing were not effective in the spaces, there were lots of counter-attacks and we had to get back.

“We were very vulnerable because we lost balls going forward and that left gaps.

“In the second half we pressed more but Mexico dropped back and played on the break. We had a couple of shots but it seemed jinxed, sometimes they were too quick in finishing, didn’t keep their cool.

“Everyone is very unhappy but tomorrow we have to look forward. Our team has experience of dealing with losses, the next match will be decisive and we have to win it.”

Low went on to admit that his players looked “nervous” at times, but he maintains that he will not be scrapping his pre-tournament plans on the back of one result.

Joachim Low

He added: “We will not change our match plan because if we are able to play out our ideas then we have players who can deliver.

“We have to concentrate on our strong suits that we simply haven’t been able to produce in the last few matches.”

With Mexico now in the driving seat to secure top spot in Group F, Germany’s potential path to another final may have become considerably more difficult.

It could be that Brazil lie in store at the round of 16, but Low is refusing to get caught up in what might be.

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“I won't think of that, I certainly don’t care who the opponent will be,” he said.

“We have to win against Sweden, now we are under pressure.

“The first knockout round? I don’t think about that now. We need to focus on the next game.”