In a clash of the two favorites to advance from Group C, Mexico and Germany played to a 2-2 draw at the Fonte Nova Arena in rainy Salvador on Thursday afternoon.
The reigning Gold medal winners had the first chance of the match in the 8th minute as talented forward Hirving Lozano, off a headed clearance, ripped a rising shot from distance that sailed just over the crossbar.
As the half progressed, Germany started to play with more purpose and gain footing in the match but didn’t have any major threats on the Mexican goal.
Mexico almost struck first in the 27th minute as Lozano found himself in front of the goal but his shot was denied by German goalie Timo Horn.
A minute later, Germany coach Horst Hrubesch had to make an early substitution as midfield leader and Captain Leon Goretzka picked up an injury. He was replaced by promising Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry.
The first half continued on with very few chances between the two sides and going into the halftime interval the score remained 0-0.
Seven minutes into the second half, 32-year old Oribe Peralta, one of Mexico’s talented overage players, put his side in front as he headed home a corner kick by midfielder Michael Perez. Barely a minute later, Germany almost answered right back as Serge Gnabry found space in the penalty area and drove a shot just wide of the Mexican goal.
But in the 58th minute, Gnabry was involved once again and put the Germans level at 1-1. A gorgeous through-ball by forward Davie Selke sent Gnabry in on goal who then calmly finished past Mexican goalie Alfredo Talavera.
However, in the 63rd minute, Rodolfo Pizarro would put Mexico back in the driver’s seat. A cross into the box found the head of Marco Bueno who redirected the ball off the crossbar. The rebound fell kindly to the feet of Pizarro who tapped in the rebound to give his team a 2-1 lead.
Hirving Lozano had a chance to make it a two-goal lead for Mexico in the 74th minute but his shot was saved from point blank range by Timo Horn to keep the score at 2-1.
After a better spell of purposeful possession, the Europeans found the equalizer they were looking for in the 78th minute. Midfielder Julian Brandt whipped in a corner kick that defender Mattias Ginter rose up to meet and redirect home to make the score 2-2.
The match would end with that scoreline of 2-2, even though both teams were pushing to find the winner in the final few minutes.
After the back and forth affair, Germany and Mexico are level in Group C with one point apiece.
Germany is next in action on Sunday at 4pm vs. South Korea at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador while Mexico duels with massive underdogs, Fiji, earlier on in the day at 12pm.