Friendlies are normally reserved for caution and possession-based soccer, but both Germany and Mexico left it all on the field tonight.
Jersey Swap: Uriel Antuna
Antuna consistently used his speed and savvy to attack the German back line. He snagged Mexico’s first goal in the 37th minute and then sent Mexico into the lead with his cross to Erick Sanchez in the 47th minute. The 26-year old winger for Cruz Azul should continue to be a vital piece of El Tri’s attack.
Der Kaiser: Antonio Rüdiger
Leroy Sané whipped in a beautiful corner that was flicked over the top by Robin Gosens; Rüdiger was perfectly positioned to open the scoring with a powerful, back post header. Unfortunately, Rüdiger had a tough possession where he failed to clear the ball and subsequently got beat by Antuna’s header. But Rüdiger was by far the best defender on the pitch as he routinely disrupted the Mexican attack.
Der Fußballgott: İlkay Gündoğan
After befuddling the American midfield over the weekend, Gündoğan was back to his witty ways as he calmly sliced his way through the Mexican midfield. Gündoğan sat a little deeper than normal, but did a fantastic job funneling the ball to Germany’s attackers.
Der Bomber: Jamal Musiala
This was a toss-up between Bayern Munich’s Musiala and Sané, but Musiala’s attacks seemed to pierce a little deeper and connect better with other players. With Muller constantly creating space as the main striker, Musiala was allowed the freedom to roam and cause chaos for Mexico’s backline.
Meister of the Match: Julian Nagelsmann
To win international competitions, a national team must have a clear style of play that has received full buy-in from the players. Nagelsmann has immediately installed a vertical attacking system that matches perfectly with Germany’s personnel. If the defense can be more consistent in rooting out counterattacks, this team is well positioned to make a deep run at the Euros next summer.
Looking for more discussion and analysis on the Germany vs. Mexico match? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Postgame Show on Spotify or below: