European powerhouse Germany remained undefeated under new boss Julian Nagelsmann after a 2-2 draw with CONCACAF giants Mexico in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Just days after Die Mannschaft ran out 3-1 winners against El Tri rivals the United States in East Hartford, Germany looked to keep its 100% record in the post-Hansi Flick era but struggled to turn dominance in possession into a win under the former Bayern Munich head trainer.
A close-range header from Antonio Rüdiger off a corner headed on by Robin Gosens put the European giants out in front 25 minutes into the first half and at times it appeared as though the performance, which oftentimes was dominant in terms of possession, would earn a second before the half-time interval.
That would not come to pass, however, when Mexico did well to clear their lines on Germany’s sixth corner of the match before star winger Hirving Lozano controlled from Rüdiger’s haphazard attempt to clear after a foot race with Santiago Giménez before beating Niklas Süle for space and cutting back across the face of goal for Uriel Antuna to slot past Marc-André ter Stegen at the near post.
Nagelsmann would make two changes during the interval, bringing on Niclas Füllkrug and Leon Goretzka for an underwhelming Thomas Müller and Pascal Groß who once again proved himself in the absence of Joshua Kimmich. But Mexico would take the lead through Erick Sánchez two minutes after the restart only for Die Mannschaft to pull back level through none other than the aforementioned Füllkrug four minutes later, netting his ninth goal in 11 caps.
Further changes saw the introductions of Malick Thiaw (59′), David Raum (65′), Jonas Hofmann (65′), and Kevin Behrens (87′) but the scoreline would stay rooted at two-all as Mexico once again gave Germany a run for its money while looking far more threatening than the United States just four days ago.
Germany Player Ratings
GK: Marc-André ter Stegen – 5
LB: Robin Gosens – 7
LCB: Antonio Rüdiger – 8
RCB: Jonathan Tah – 6
RB: Niklas Süle – 5 – Failed to deal with Hirving Lozano’s run down the flank before Mexico’s opener and lost his marker for El Tri’s early goal in the second half through Erick Sánchez. It’s clear that Süle should only be viewed as a depth defender moving forward, with Mats Hummels proving ageless against the United States and Jonathan Tah comporting himself well at right-back.
LCM: İlkay Gündoğan (C) – 7
RCM: Pascal Groß – 7
CAM: Jamal Musiala – 7
LW: Leroy Sané – 6
RW: Florian Wirtz – 7
CF: Thomas Müller – 5 – Underwhelming. Completed just 9/12 passes and failed to register a single shot in his 45-minute appearance. Replaced by Niclas Füllkrug at halftime, and once again proved that while his tactical versatility, experience, and leadership are collectively valued, he should rarely – if ever – be included in the XI.
Substitutes: Niclas Füllkrug (7), Leon Goretzka (6), Malick Thiaw (6), David Raum (6), Jonas Hofmann (6), Kevin Behrens (N/A)
GGFN | Andrew Thompson