FIFA WC 2018: Brazil failed to win opening match; Mexico beats Germany

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ROSTOV-ON-DON [RUSSIA]: The five-time world champions Brazil failed to win their opening World Cup match as Switzerland's Steven Zuber's header cancelled out Philippe Coutinho's spectacular goal, bringing the result to a sloppy 1-1 draw in Rostov.

 

Coutinho opened the scoring for Brazil with this stunning signature curler in the first half, which made the match pretty much all Brazil from the beginning.

However, Steven Zuber's header from a corner earned the Swiss who are ranked sixth in the world, a deserved point.

With this, Brazil's momentum had dissipated and the tempo of the match apparently slowing down.

Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer was at his best and gave a marvellous performance as he came up with several impressive stops, which included a diving save of Roberto Firmino's header just before injury time.

The draw brings an end to Brazil's run of nine wins in opening World Cup fixtures.

Brazil on Wednesday faces Serbia, the current Group E leader after it defeated Costa Rica, who will cross swords with Switzerland in a crucial group-stage match the same day.

Germany 0-1 Mexico: Lozano goal sinks world champions

Germany started their World Cup defence with a wretched performance against Mexico in Moscow on Sunday, with a breakaway Hirving Lozano goal condemning the World Champions to a defeat.

Having won every single game of their World Cup qualifying campaign, Germany fluttered during the warm-up matches, winning just one out of six.

Signs of those struggles were visible against a lively Mexico, who broke into the German defensive third time and again, and could have made it even more embarrassing for 'Die Mannschaft' had they found the final pass on several occasions.

The match started on a frantic note, with Jerome Boateng blocking Lozano's shot in the first minute of play. Timo Werner soon delivered Germany's reply after he was found by Joshua Kimmich's through ball, with his snapshot across the face of goal going wide.

Ten minutes from half-time, a slick counter-attack move rewarded Mexico for their energetic display.

Andres Guardado and Javier Hernandez played a brilliant one-two to allow the latter to move clear of Mat Hummels, who then laid the ball off for an onrushing Lozano, who cut inside and squeezed his shot inside Manuel Neuer's near post.

The lead, however, came close to be nullified when a Toni Kroos free-kick was brilliantly flicked to the crossbar by an outstretched Guillermo Ochoa">Guillermo Ochoa.

Joachim Low's men were expected to come out in the second half with all guns blazing, chasing an equaliser. However, it was Mexico who started off from where they had left in the first half.

A counter-attack, led by Hernandez, charged towards the German backline failed to add to the scoresheet as the former Manchester United man's cutback could not be controlled by Carlos Vela.

Germany came desperately close twice in the dying minutes, with Mario Gomez squandering a great opportunity to level the match as he headed over the bar from close range. Timo Werner's substitute, Julian Brandt then crashed a shot on the outside of the post as Germany's hopes of avoiding defeat went out with a flicker.

Germany will have rally together and bounce back in the next match on June 23 when they face Sweden if they are to avoid an ominous pattern of world Champions being knocked out in the first round, as happened with Italy (champions in 2006) in 2010 and Spain (champions in 2010) in 2014.

Mexico will look to further strengthen their grip over the group when they face South Korea on June 23. (ANI)

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