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Lozano, Mexico top Germany in thrilling Group F opener


El Tri’s form wasn’t impressive heading into the World Cup, but they erased a lot of doubt on Sunday.

Mexico knocked off Germany, 1-0, in their Group F opener at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, after Hirving Lozano’s first-half strike.

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Lozano scored his first World Cup goal in the first half, after Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez picked out a great pass to put Mexico in front following a counterattack.

Both goalkeepers were tested early and often on the day, with Mexico particularly coming out to a flying start against the reigning World Cup champions.

The finish came just two minutes prior to Toni Kroos’ brilliant free kick, which was kept out by an equally-incredible save by El Tri goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

As Mexico began to sit back further in the second stanza, the Germans took control of the game, however, the European side struggled in the final third.

Joshua Kimmich was among the threats for the Germans, after nearly scoring an acrobatic bicycle kick off of a low cross from Jerome Boateng.

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Meanwhile, Rafael Marquez entered the match late for Mexico, making him the third player in World Cup history to appear in five tournaments.

El Tri will take on South Korea on June 23 in their second Group F matchup, while Germany meets Sweden that same day.

Manuel Neuer makes long-awaited return for Germany

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Manuel Neuer looks like he’s not only ready to appear for Germany once again, but could be in line to reclaim his position as the national team’s number one goalkeeper.

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Despite being absent from club and national team duties since September 2017, the Bayern Munich keeper will start in Saturday’s international friendly against Austria, as Germany readies itself for the World Cup in less than two weeks.

Manager Jurgen Low has opted to go with a mixed lineup of would-be starters and reserves for the match, however, if Neuer is indeed fully fit it is hard to imagine he wouldn’t be considered to start in Russia when Germany opens World Cup play against Mexico on June 17.

Germany does have three other goalkeepers in camp though, with Barcelona number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno of Bayer Leverkusen each waiting in the wings.

If Neuer makes the final roster, Leno would be the most likely to not see his name included in the team that heads to Russia.

Low must cut four players in total from his 27-man roster before the June 4 deadline when all squads must be finalized.

Manuel Neuer back in Bayern squad for German Cup final

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BERLIN (AP) Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been included in Bayern Munich’s squad for the German Cup final on Saturday, boosting hopes he will be fit enough for the World Cup.

Neuer, who hasn’t played since September because of a hairline fracture in his left foot after being injured in training, says it’s “perhaps the best news of the day.”

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Bayern faces Eintracht Frankfurt in the German season-ending finale in Berlin’s Olympiasstadion. Backup goalie Sven Ulreich is likely to keep his starting spot as the side hopes to complete a domestic double.

Thomas Mueller, who was laboring with a stomach bug, was also named in the squad, while Jerome Boateng (thigh), Arturo Vidal (knee) and Arjen Robben (groin) will miss the game.

Neuer took a full part in team training this week. He was among four goalkeepers named in Germany’s preliminary World Cup squad on Tuesday, as coach Joachim Loew gives him every chance of proving his fitness for the tournament in Russia.

Germany captain Neuer running out of time for World Cup

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MUNICH (AP) Germany captain Manuel Neuer will not play in Bayern Munich’s final Bundesliga game, putting his World Cup participation in doubt after missing most of the season with a hairline fracture in his left foot.

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The goalkeeper, who hasn’t played since September after being injured in training, is running out of time to prove his fitness for this summer’s tournament in Russia.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said Wednesday that Neuer will not be included in the squad for the final league game against Stuttgart.

Media reports suggested Heynckes said Neuer wouldn’t play at all for Bayern this season, but the club issued a statement which quoted the coach as saying, “I didn’t say that. The fact is Manuel is not yet in the squad for the last home game against Stuttgart on Saturday. For the cup final, however, the decision is still open.”

Bayern plays Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup final on May 19.

The 32-year-old Neuer was initially due to return in January but his rehabilitation is taking longer than expected due to the risk of a relapse. A repeat of the injury could threaten his career.

Germany coach Joachim Loew is due to name his World Cup squad on May 15 with the biggest question centering on Neuer’s likely inclusion.

Neuer has said, “I don’t think it’s imaginable without any match practice.”

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer returns to training

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer celebrated his 32nd birthday by returning to training for the first time since September.

Bayern says the Germany captain completed two 10-minute running sessions under the guidance of fitness and rehabilitation coach Thomas Wilhelmi.

Neuer hasn’t played since getting another hairline fracture of the metatarsal in his left foot while training, a repeat of the injury he sustained toward the end of last season.

Neuer hopes to return in time to lead defending champion Germany at the World Cup in Russia.

Sven Ulreich has been filling in for Neuer at Bayern, which can clinch its record-extending sixth consecutive Bundesliga title on Saturday with a win over Borussia Dortmund if Schalke drops points at home against Freiburg.