Low rejects champions ‘curse’ after loss

German coach Joachim Low brushed off his side’s defeat in their opening game against Mexico on Sunday, insisting that the reigning champions would qualify for the knockout stage.

The Germans got off to a poor start in their title defence as a Hirving Lozano goal gave an impressive Mexico side a memorable 1-0 win in their Group F tie.

Reminded that three of the last four defending champions (France, Italy and Spain) have failed to make it out of the group stages, Low appeared confident that would not happen to his side.

“I have no idea why that was the case with other countries,” he said. “We will not suffer that fate. We will make it to the next round.

“We will certainly not change our match plan,” Low said. “If we are able to play out our ideas then we have players who able to deliver.

“We will not just break apart now and become headless and do something completely different. There is no need to break out in panic just because we have lost a match.”

Low went on to blame a poor first-half performance.

“In the first half we played very badly,” he said.

“We were not able to impose our usual way of playing, our attacking and passing was not effective.

“We were not effective in the spaces. There were lots of counter-attacks and we had to run back a lot and of course, we were very vulnerable because we lost the ball in our forward movement and that left an open gap.”

“In the second half we pressed more but Mexico also dropped back,” he added.

“We had a couple of shots on goal but somehow it seemed jinxed, the ball wouldn’t go in. Sometimes they were a bit too quick in shooting, did not take their time, did not keep their cool.”

Germany, who have never failed to reach the knockout stages at a World Cup, will hope to bounce back against Sweden in Sochi on Saturday before they play South Korea in their final match.