Mexico, Germany play out exciting draw
Mexico and Germany played out an exciting 2-2 draw in their opening Men’s Olympic Football Tournament fixture in Salvador.
Skipper Oribe Peralta opened the scoring for the 2012 gold medal winners after heading home Michael Perez's corner on 52 minutes, before Serge Gnabry produced a leveller on 58 minutes.
Germany's initial equaliser proved to be short-lived, as Rodolfo Pizarro put El Tri back in front just four minutes later, but Horst Hrubesch’s men produced another leveller through Matthias Ginter on 78 minutes, whose powerful header from Julian Brandt's corner ensured both Group C sides came away with a point.
The result sees Mexico extend their unbeaten run at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament to eight games.
Mexico started brightly and looked the more dangerous side going forward. In the heavy rain, Hirving Lozano received the ball in plenty of space outside the area but fired over the crossbar, while Marco Bueno’s curling shot was held by Timo Horn.
The 2012 gold medal winners squandered a clear-cut opportunity on 27 minutes when skipper Peralta selflessly passed the ball to Lozano in plenty of space, but the Pachuca man’s close-range strike was tipped away by goalkeeper Timo Horn.
Germany, who won bronze at Seoul 1988, were not without their chances but also lacked a clinical edge in front of goal throughout the first half. Max Meyer saw his tame effort easily cleared by the Mexico defence, while Davie Selke raced through on goal but was unable to find a German body in the danger area with his low cross.
After their relentless pressure in the opening 45 minutes, El Tri opened the scoring seven minutes into the second half, with captain Peralta heading home from Perez's corner.
Hrubesch’s side had the chance to grab an immediate equaliser when Lukas Klostermann’s low cross found Gnabry, but while the Arsenal man missed his first opportunity, he made no mistake with his second. The pacey 21-year-old read Niklas Sule’s pass beautifully before slotting past Alfredo Talavera on 58 minutes.
Germany’s equaliser was short-lived, though, and after Bueno’s diving header struck the crossbar on 61 minutes, Pizarro pounced onto the rebound and bundled the ball over the line to put Raul Gutierrez’s men back in front.
After being pegged back once more, Germany continued to press for another leveller and after Gnabry hit the side-netting on the back of another threatening run, Brandt's corner met Ginter, whose powerful header found the back of the net on 78 minutes.