Transition: Germany’s problem and Croatia’s strength

Juan Carlos Osorio had a plan, Joachim Low didn’t.

Mexico had wanted to hit Germany with counter-attacks and designed every minute detail to maximize that tactic before the game. They started in the 4-2-3-1 and switched to a 4-4-2 in the defensive phase. Like Nigeria, they also put two bodies in front of Germany’s central midfielders, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira, when they had the ball. But in contrast to Nigeria – who had to settle for Croatian center backs to carry the ball forward so that they could block Rakitic and Modric – Mexico encouraged Germany’s central defenders, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, to advance the possession.

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