Mexico’s Osorio: Germany in World Cup “an extraordinary challenge”
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Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio (pictured) looks on during the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia at the State Kremlin Palace on December 1, 2017, in Moscow, Russia. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

MOSCOW, Russia – Thanks to Friday’s Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, not only will Mexico will face Germany for a second straight year in Russia, it will open Group G play against the defending champion on June 17.

The sides met in this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup semifinals, a 4-1 win for the Germans.

“Germany, reigning world champions, I think there is nothing bigger,” said Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who guided the Tricolor to a first-place finish in the CONCACAF Hexagonal. “It is an extraordinary challenge. I have the memory of them from the Confederations Cup, also of us missing two players because of injury. This excites me.

“The truth is that we can compete and play them toe-to-toe hopefully. Undeniably, it will be a great opportunity for Mexican football and personally fantastic to compete with the best.”

The Mexicans will also square off against Korea Republic (June 23) and Sweden (June 27).

While Osorio assessed that the Koreans will “defend well and try to play transition in attack with very fast players,” he also acknowledged that the Swedes should be “respected a lot” and will be a “difficult opponent.”

Mexico has faced each of its three opponents in previous World Cups – Germany (0W-1D-2L), Korea Republic (1-0-0) and Sweden (0-0-1).

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Mexico – 2018 FIFA World Cup Schedule (Group F)

June 17: Germany (Luzhniki Stadium -- Moscow)
June 23: Korea Republic (Rostov Arena -- Rostov-on-Don)
June 27: Sweden (Central Stadium -- Ekaterinburg)

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