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Goretzka double helps Germany reach Confederations Cup final

Mexico had more chances and more possession but their defence left wide open spaces which were ruthlessly exploited by Germany’s young, experimental team.

Germany’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen shakes hands with Mexico's forward Javier Hernandez after the 2017 Confederations Cup semi-final football match between Germany and Mexico at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on June 29, 2017. Pictured: AFP

MOSCOW – Germany’s Leon Goretzka scored two expertly-taken early goals to set them on the way to a thumping 4-1 win over Mexico in a dramatic, end-to-end Confederations Cup semi-final on Thursday.

Mexico had more chances and more possession but their defence left wide open spaces which were ruthlessly exploited by Germany’s young, experimental team.

Goretzka struck twice in the first eight minutes before Timo Werner and Amin Younis added two more in the second half, though Marcio Fabian’s 89th-minute goal for Mexico was the most spectacular -- a viciously swerving drive from 35 metres.

Germany, whose starting team had an average age of just under 24, will meet Chile in Sunday’s final in St Petersburg, having progressed despite resting players such as keeper Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.

Mexico’s elimination will leave the fans wondering about their chances at next year’s World Cup if, as expected, they qualify, and of ending a run of six successive last 16 exits.

There was controversy after the break when Werner appeared to be pushed in the back as he broke into the penalty area but the referee waved play on without asking for a video replay.

Germany went ahead after six minutes when Benjamin Henrichs burst down the right and Goretzka swept his low pass into the net from the edge of the penalty area

It took one minute 49 seconds for Germany to double their lead as Werner slipped the ball through an open Mexico defence to Goretzka who clipped it over keeper Guillermo Ochoa.