Mexico's Erick Gutierrez (Mexico) and Lars Bender of Germany compete for possession during their Men's Olympic Football Tournament match on August 4, 2016 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
SALVADOR, Brazil – Defending gold-medalist Mexico and Germany played to a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first Group C match for each in the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament at the rainy Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova.
The sides ended the evening in a tie for second place after Korea Republic posted an 8-0 win over Fiji.
Oribe Peralta, who scored a team-high four goals at London 2012, put Mexico ahead in the 52nd minute by heading in Michael Perez’s left-sided corner kick from six-yards out.
Six minutes later, Germany equalized as Serge Gnabry struck calmly from eight-yards out off Niklas Sule’s superb through ball played into the left side of the box.
Mexico regained the lead in the 62nd minute. Hirving Lozano whipped in a cross from the left that Marco Bueno dove at to head of the crossbar. Without hesitation, Rodolfo Pizarro reacted quickly to guide it in with his left foot from doorstep range.
The Germans, however, would not be denied a point. In the 78th minute, Matthias Ginter rose high to head assertively Julian Brandt's right-sided corner into the net from eight-yards out.
Lozano nearly struck in the first half, but his 27th minute effort – with time and space – was saved by goalkeeper Timo Horn.
Mexico returns to action on Sunday against Fiji.