Friday, July 1, 2005

Germany 4:3 Mexico

Germany 4:3 Mexico.
Germany 4:3 Mexico
3rd/4th Place Play-Off
Germany 4:3 Mexico
Germany: Podolski 37, Schweinsteiger 41, Huth 79, Ballack 97
Mexico: Fonseca 40, Borgetti 58, 85
Weds 29th June 2005, 1745h Zentralstadion, Leipzig
Att: 43,335

Germany downed Mexico 4:3 in Leipzig in an entertaining finale to their Confederations Cup campaigns.

The clash of the losing semi-finalists may not have been hotly anticipated but was far from forgetful with a healthy seven goals to send the home fans home happy and looking forward to next year's World Cup.

For Mexico, the conquerors of Brazil, it was another close-run defeat following their semi-final penalty agony against Argentina, but they can cross the Atlantic proud of their tournament showing, which surprised European eyes and won the CONCACAF champions a great deal of respect.

Lukas Podolski’s began the goal-fest in the thirty-seventh minute with a twenty-yard missile from a sweet Bastian Schweinsteiger backheel that lodged in the top corner of the net. But three minutes later Mexico were level from Jose Fonseca’s low drive before Schweinsteiger restored Germany’s lead with a tap-in at the far post a minute later.

Mike Hanke received a red card after fifty-four minutes for a clattering tackle on Carlos Salcido and the Germans lost their lead again four minutes later when Luis Perez crossed for Jared Borgetti to head past Oliver Kahn.

Chelsea’s Robert Huth, who had had a tough tournament, was smiling again when a Schweinsteiger corner landed at his feet and he short through a crowd of bodies to make it 3-2 Germany with eleven minutes to go.

But Mexico were the Lazarus team tonight and drew level for a third time when Borgetti, who else, powered another trademark header past Kahn after 85 minutes.
It was left to Germany’s flag bearer Michael Ballack, who grew up in the Leipzig area, to win the day with a curling free-kick over the wall seven minutes into extra-time.

Post-match, Germany boss Jurgen Klinsmann noted his side’s resilience over the two weeks, which saw them draw level several times: “One fascinating aspect has been how the team has always been capable of responding after conceding a goal.”

Scoring skipper Michael Ballack waxed, “That will give us confidence over the coming months. This team has great attacking potential.”
Oliver Kahn however sounded a note of caution, adding “This Confederations Cup was a tournament of all-out attack. We will not win with that tactic at the FIFA World Cup next year.”

Mexico’s Gonzalo Pineda acknowledged his side’s impressive showing: “This competition was a good test for us and has helped us increase our knowledge of other teams. We want to do even better next year.”
Echoing his sentiment that Mexico, who were ousted 2-0 by the USA at the last World Cup, should be feared next year, coach Ricardo La Volpe opined: “We have played some of the biggest names around and we have not fallen far short of beating them all. We believe in our ability to play good football and we will start intensive preparations for the World Cup over the coming months.”

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