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Mexico face Germany in Confederations Cup semis

By The Assam Tribune

SOCHI, June 28: Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio warned against underestimating a youthful Germany in tomorrow�s Confederations Cup semifinal because of the wealth of experience many of them have already gained.

Of the eight teams at the tournament the Germans brought the youngest squad to Russia�s Confed Cup with an average age of just over 24.

Despite leaving their 2014 World Cup-winning stars at home, the Germans earned their semifinal place by topping their group after beating Australia and Cameroon and fighting back to draw 1-1 with South American champions Chile.

Osorio pointed out that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain�s Julian Draxler, 23, Liverpool�s Emre Can, 23, and Arsenal�s Shkodran Mustafi, 25, have already played in both the Bundesliga and Europe�s top leagues.

�You can be young and have a lot of experience,� said Osorio.

�A 30-year-old who starts studying cardiology will know a lot less than a 21 year old graduate, who already works in an emergency room in a big city and has already performed a lot of surgeries.

�Guys like Draxler and (Bayern Munich�s) Joshua Kimmich, have all played Champions League and have lots of Bundesliga experience, despite their ages.�

Osorio has chopped and changed the Mexico team for all three Confed Cup games so far.

Ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez says whoever plays at Sochi�s Fisht Stadium will be capable of beating the world champions to reach Sunday�s final, against Portugal or Chile who meet in Wednesday�s other semifinal.

�I have been playing for two years in the Bundesliga, we need to see where their weaknesses are and where we can hurt them,� said Bayer Leverkusen striker Hernandez, who has started two of Mexico�s three games in Russia.

�But we�re focused on what we need to do, we don�t know who is going to play, it�s one of our qualities that anyone can come in and do the job.

�They are the world champions and we�re very happy to be in this match.�

Both teams remain undefeated in the competition and will be hoping to retain their 100 per cent records heading into the final.

Assessing this game on pedigree alone paints Germany as the big favourites, with the World Cup holders having only been matched thus far in the competition by Chile, against whom they drew 1-1 last week.

But Die Mannschaft made up for that disappointment with a commanding 3-1 victory over Cameroon to decide their place as Group B winners thanks to a brace from man-of-the-match winner Timo Werner.

The RB Leipzig striker was an integral part of his club�s second-place finish in the Bundesliga last term and has translated that form to the international stage. But he is just one weapon Mexico must cage if they�re to progress.

Mexico have hardly been slouches themselves, though, and while their six-match undefeated run may not be as intimidating, the fact that�s just one of the two defeats they�ve suffered in the past two years speak volumes. � Agencies

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