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MOSCOW, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Germany woke to gloomy headlines of “chaos” and “humiliation” on Monday after the defending World Cup champions fell 1-0 to Mexico in a shock opening defeat in Russia.

Long used to the dominance of their national team, Germans are digesting their team’s first defeat in a World Cup opening match in 36 years and wondering what will come next.

“Defensive chaos at the world champions,” splashed the country’s best-selling newspaper Bild across its sports section. “Now it is about survival at the World Cup.”

Berlin’s Morgenpost wrote, “Germany have lost their way.”

The Germans, World Cup winners in Brazil four years ago, were one of the pre-tournament favourites but the defeat means there will be no room for error when they face Sweden and South Korea in their remaining Group F games.

The four-time winners have reached at least the semi-finals at every World Cup since 2002.

“(Joachim) Loew does not want to change his plan,” wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper. “Now Germany is under pressure.”

The German coach is in the crosshairs after sticking with a lacklustre Mesut Ozil instead of speedy in-form winger Marco Reus, and setting his team up in such a way that allowed the Mexicans to launch countless counter-attacks.

Loew, who has been in charge since 2006 and recently signed a contract extension to 2022, also raised eyebrows a few weeks ago when he did not include Leroy Sane, the English Premier League’s young player of the year, in his final World Cup squad.

“Past good practices don’t work anymore,” wrote the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “He cannot go on as he has done in the last 12 years.”

The Germans next play Sweden on June 23 before facing South Korea in their final group game four days later.

“The humiliation was homemade. Loew must now change direction,” said Die Welt.


BERLIN, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Germany's environment minister says the country will likely miss its target of cutting carbon emissions by 2020, an embarrassment for a government that wants to lead the charge on limiting climate change.

Minister Svenja Schulze said Monday the goal of cutting carbon emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 by 2020 probably won't be achieved. Government estimates are for a cut of 32 percent at best.

Schulze said Europe's biggest economy is now eyeing its next milestone - a cut of 55 percent by 2030 - but this requires efforts by all sectors, including ending the use of coal for electricity and sharp emissions cuts in the transport sector.

She spoke in Berlin at a preparatory meeting of governments ahead of this year's global climate summit in Katowice, Poland.




MOSCOW, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels slammed Germany's failings after the holders slipped to a shock 1-0 defeat against Mexico in their opening World Cup match Sunday.

Germany lost their opening match at a World Cup finals for the first time since 1982 after Hirving Lozano scored the winning goal in Moscow.

The Germans were caught napping in the first half at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium and went behind in the 35th minute as Mexico found acres of space to counter attack through the midfield.

Centre-back Hummels said Germany had ignored the warnings from their shaky 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in their final warm-up game.

“It's pretty simple: We played like we did against Saudi Arabia, but this time it was against a better opponent,” fumed the Bayern Munich player, who was booked for a foul in the dying stages.

“We had already talked about things like giving the ball away and lack of cover. Unfortunately, we did not follow that through. That's why the first half looked the way it did.

“Mexico deserved to win and we made it too easy for them, even though we knew exactly how not to play against them.”

Hummels described the defeat as a “wake-up call too late.” “Our cover wasn't good, too often it was just Jerome (Boateng) and I at the back. We have to win our next two games or that's the World Cup done with.

“The game against Saudi Arabia was actually a wake-up call. I don't quite understand we played the way we did today, because we had already had a shot across our bow (against Saudi Arabia).”

Kroos, who like Hummels was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup, said Germany paid the price for failing to stem the waves of Mexican first-half attacks.

“We did not find any solutions to their game in the first half,” the Real Madrid player told German broadcaster ZDF.

“They were clever and left room where they could afford to. In the second half we were better, Mexico got tired, but we did not score, although there were enough chances for at least one.”

Kroos agreed with Hummels that Germany now must win their remaining Group F games against Sweden in Sochi next Saturday and against South Korea in Kazan on June 27 to be sure of progressing.

“We're under pressure now, no question, we have to get six points,” he said.

MOSCOW, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Germany coach Joachim Loew said the defending World Cup champions played “very badly” in Sunday's 1-0 loss to Mexico, warning that the shock defeat left them with little margin for error in their remaining group games.

Germany's preparations ahead of the World Cup were plagued by poor results and controversy, and their problems were magnified in Moscow as they crashed to their first defeat in the opening game of a World Cup since 1982.

Hirving Lozano's 35th-minute strike at the Luzhniki Stadium earned Mexico just the second win over Germany in history, as Loew's side paid the price for a dismal first half.

“In the first half we played very badly,” Loew said. “We weren't able to impose our usual way of playing, our attacking and passing was not effective.”

“It's disappointing to have lost the first match,” he added. “It's a situation we're not used to at all. In many previous tournaments we've always won the first match but we have to accept it.”

Germany's proud record of never being eliminated in the group stage at a World Cup is already in danger.

And if they finish runners-up in Group F, Germany could be on course to face Brazil in a daunting second-round match-up.

Germany face Sweden in their next match on June 23 in Sochi before concluding their group campaign four days later in Kazan against South Korea.

“The team has experience dealing with losses. It goes without saying that the next match will be decisive for us, we have to win it,” Loew said.

“We will not change our gameplan. If we play out our ideas then we have players who are able to deliver.

“We need to focus on our strong points, which we haven't been able to do in our last couple of games.

“We have three matches in the group phase and we have ample opportunities to correct this result.”

Loew started eight of the nine 2014 World Cup winners in his squad, with Mesut Ozil returning from a knee injury and Manuel Neuer back in goal following his lengthy absence.

Jerome Boateng's build-up to the finals was also hampered by a groin injury, and the Bayern Munich centre-back found himself exposed often as Mexico's speed was a constant threat on the counter-attack.

After a remarkably open start, Mexico struck the decisive blow 10 minutes before half- time after Sami Khedira lost possession in the opposition half.

Javier Hernandez triggered a lightning break before finding a charging Lozano, who cut inside a covering Ozil and lashed low inside Neuer's near post to spark deafening roars from the sizeable Mexico support.

“I think it's definitely the best goal I've ever scored in my life, we all dream of playing in the World Cup,” PSV Eindhoven forward Lozano said.

“I don't know if it's the biggest win in (Mexico's) history but doubtless it is one of the biggest for sure.

“It's great to start on the right foot when you're playing against the world champions.”

Germany hit back, Toni Kroos rattling the crossbar with a 25-yard free-kick that needed the fingertips of a scrambling Ochoa to keep it out, but Mexico barely clung on to their advantage.

At 39, Rafael Marquez became just the third player to feature at five World Cups as he was brought for the final 15 minutes to fortify Mexico's defence.

A frenetic finale saw substitute Julian Brandt smack the outside of the post with a thunderous effort from 20 yards.

One desperate last attack then had Neuer come up for a corner before Mexico closed out an unforgettable triumph.

“I think it's a milestone for Mexican football,” said Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

“We played with bravery when it was needed and defended with all our hearts, I think we need to give the credit where it's due and that's to the players.”

MOSCOW, June 17, 2018 (News Wires) - Germany were stunned 1-0 by Mexico in the opening game of their World Cup defence on Sunday as Hirving Lozano finished off a sharp counter-attack that exposed the ragged defending that the four-times winners had displayed in their warm-up games.

Germany's defence had looked stretched to breaking point on several occasions in the opening half-hour, and it was no surprise when Javier Hernandez again left Mats Hummels for dead to play in Lozano, who cut inside Mesut Ozil and smashed the ball low into the corner to release an explosion of noise in Luzhniki Stadium.

Germany came close to levelling late in the half when a Toni Kroos free kick was touched on to the bar by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, and they gradually took command once Marco Reus joined the fray after an hour and introduced some pace to their attack.

But despite almost constant pressure they were largely kept at long range, and their poor finishing rarely threatened Ochoa as Mexico held out for only their second victory against the Germans in 12 attempts.

PARIS, June 17, 2018 (AFP) - Paris and Berlin are very close to an agreement on eurozone reform after months of divisions, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said.

"An agreement is close at hand," Le Maire said on Twitter late Saturday after final negotiations on the subject with this German counterpart in the northern German city of Hamburg.

The minister added that he hoped an agreement could be finalised on Tuesday, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are scheduled to meet near Berlin.

Paris and Berlin are racing to bridge the gap between Macron's vision of grand European Union reforms and Chancellor Angela Merkel's more prudent approach by a crunch eurozone summit on June 29.

"There are two or three remaining issues" to sort out, a European source close to the negotiations told AFP. "But these are clearly defined and limited."

The source added that "real progress had been made on the sensitive issues that remained to be decided, especially regarding the eurozone budget."

Germany and other northern European states have baulked at Macron's calls to give the eurozone its own big budget, fearing the more fiscally prudent north will have to pick up the tab for overspending by the more profligate south.

Earlier this month, Merkel made some concessions, agreeing to support Macron's call for an investment fund to help poorer European countries catch up in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

But the size of the fund remains a major bone of contention, with Merkel saying it should be "at the lower end of the double-digit billions of euros range", while Macron has called for a budget amounting to "the equivalent of several points of the GDP of the eurozone".

The French president is on a drive to reconcile Europeans with the EU after years of austerity and mass migrant flows have helped fuel the rise of anti-immigrant and nationalist parties.

He has championed EU reform proposals such as a common finance minister and budget.

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