Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Mexico's Rafa Marquez becomes third man to play at five World Cups

Mexico's Rafa Marquez becomes third man to play at five World Cups

4-time champions and the current holder of the FIFA World Cup takes on Mexico.

A first-half strike from Hirving Lozano earns Mexico a famous 1-0 win over defending champions Germany in Sunday's World Cup clash in Moscow.

The German title defense starts with a familiar foe in Mexico. Neuer has barely played over the past two seasons after undergoing two surgeries on his foot.

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez waited too long to shoot when played in on the left of the box by Vela, Germany getting numbers back to snuff out the danger, and at the other end Werner shot straight at the keeper with the unmarked Draxler waiting in vain for a pass.

And the wall that was Mexico's defence never caved in, as 25 shots came and went for Germany without finding the net - with goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa producing nine saves, including a stunning one to tip Toni Kroos' free-kick onto the bar. Kimmich nearly netted with an over-head kick from 12 yards before Julian Draxler saw a deflected effort go wide of the far post.

Germany have averaged 3.5 goals per match in their opening games of the World Cup since they last lost an opener - 36 years ago against Algeria.

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Mexico attacked often in the first half, creating a chance that perhaps Lozano should have converted early on.

Next for Mexico is to get out the group.

One desperate last attack had Neuer come up for a corner, but a towering header from the veteran Marquez and subsequent claim from Ochoa allowed Mexico to close out an unforgettable triumph. El Tri completed a attractive counterattack, with Herrera sparking the counter in the center of the park and finding Chicharito.

El Tri has made it out of the group stages in the last seven consecutive World Cup finals and again will be quietly confident of doing the same again, especially after taking on South Korea and Sweden after the challenge of Germany.

Mexico's aggressive approach unsettled the entire German team, particularly their central defensive pair - Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels - and their number 10.

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