Germany are still hunting their first win at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 after a goalless draw with Mexico that left them on the verge of elimination.
The tense stalemate at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium left the Germans five points adrift of the already-qualified Group B leaders Venezuela, while Mexico still enjoy a three-point cushion in second.
Under pressure after their opening-match defeat to the Venezuelans, the Europeans were anxious to make a positive start and revive their hopes of progressing. But while there was no shortage of energy in their play, inspiration was lacking from both sides in a fast and frenetic first half.
Germany’s Fabian Reese missed the best of what few chances there were, blazing high over the bar with the goal seemingly at his mercy after a rebound had landed fortuitously at his feet.
Mexico had their moments too, and they very nearly took the lead nine minutes into the second period when Benedikt Gimber came within a whisker of turning the ball into his own net in his attempts to clear Uriel Antuna’s dangerous cross.
The Mexicans were, however, indebted to their goalkeeper Abraham Romoero for pulling off a string of fine saves as the match wore on, with No9 Reese among the players denied.
Germany now face a must-win game against Vanuatu in their final Group B fixture, while Mexico only need a point against Venezuela to be sure of progressing.