Good evening everyone and thank you for joining us as we bring you live coverage of Germany
's semi-final clash against Mexico
in the Confederations Cup
The winner of this fixture will meet Chile in the final after they defeated Portugal on penalties yesterday evening. Both of these sides come into the contest unbeaten despite having a few defensive questions to answers in the tournament so far.
Much has been made of this German side in the competition, given that Joachim Low has rested most of his regular starters and instead handed chances to a young crop of German players. Going forward, that hasn't been a problem, with both Julian Draxler and Timo Werner proving standout performers for Die Mannschaft.
The problems have Germany have come at the back, especially in the goalkeeping department where Bernd Leno and Marc-André ter Stegen have had their hand in a number of errors.
Mexico have already shown that they are certainly no pushovers after climbing out of their group unbeaten, second only Portugal on goal difference. This Mexican side have come from behind in their previous fixtures in the tournament and should push the German side all the way this evening.
Time for some team news now...
GERMANY STARTING XI: Ter Stegen; Kimmich, Rudiger, Ginter; Henrichs, Goretzka, Rudy, Hector; Stindl, Draxler, Werner
GERMANY SUBSTITUTES: Trapp, Mustafi, Plattenhardt, Wagner, Demirbay, Leno, Can, Younes, Sule, Brandt
MEXICO STARTING XI: Ochoa; Alanis, Araujo, Moreno; Aquino, Jonathan, Herrera, Aquino; Giovanni, Hernandez, Jimenez
MEXICO SUBSTITUTES: Cota, Marquez, Reyes, Fabian, Vela, Talavera, Damm, Peralta, Reyes, Lozano
So as expected, Draxler and Werner continue up top for Germany in attack alongside fellow creative man Lars Stindl.
The main problem for Mexico is the absence of skipper Andres Guardado, who misses out here through suspension. Germany will need to be wary of Javier Hernandez up top. especially when given their defensive issues during the tournament. The same can almost be said for fellow strikers Raul Jimenez and Giovani dos Santos too.
Germany boss Low has been full of praise for his side in the build-up to this semi-final. Here's what the German coach had to say about the impact of his youngsters in Russia, according to BBC Sport
"I'm really happy to be in the semi-final with this side. Our main aim is always to be one of the last four teams in any competition. And you couldn't necessarily expect that from this team.
"It's nice that the team is bonding, because the players are spending time with each other off the pitch too. They're incredibly happy to be here. Not a single player is seeking to be in the spotlight - instead they all want to succeed as a team."
Mexico frontman Hernandez does not appear to be shirking responsibility ahead of the clash. Here's what he has had to say regarding his side's prospects against the Germans: "We know them, we know about the things that could make them suffer but we are going to focus in our team and our tactics."
PREDICTION! We have just over five minutes to go until kickoff and it is time to make a prediction. Germany are clear favourites here, but this Mexico frontline certainly has the ability to cause Germany's back-three all sorts of problems. This German side will be reliant on their prowess going forward and this will likely be a close one as a result. I'm backing Germany to pinch this with a 2-1 victory in order to meet Chile in the final on Sunday.
So here they come... The players emerge onto the pitch ahead of kickoff. We'll have a short run of national anthems and then we will be underway...
KICKOFF! Here we go, Germany get us underway in white and black, while Mexico feature in green and white. Who will book their place in the final?
Germany press quickly in the early stages and Werner almost steals the ball of Merano at the back. The Greens get away with a goal kick, but it shows some good early intention from Low's charges.
Mexico shows their own intentions now as they aim to spread the play down the flanks and hit Germany in behind. It's Hernandez who draws widest this time, but Germany shuffle across to cover.
After a rather tame opening Germany get the chance to open up on the counter when Herrera loses possession in the middle, leaving Stindl to gallop forward into space. The forward is soon brought down clumsily but it is a decent reminder of what Mexico will need to be wary of as the game progresses.
GOAL! GERMANY 1-0 MEXICO (LEON GORETZKA)
And just as I say that... Mexico press way too high and get caught out in the middle of the pitch. The ball is played into space for the run of Henrichs down the right channel. The full-back moves into space before cutting a lovely ball back into the path of Goretzka on the edge of the area, who makes no mistake with a smart finish beyond Ochoa.
GOAL! GERMANY 2-0 MEXICO (LEON GORETZKA)
Mexico have an absolute mountain to climb now and the issue springs from their defensive frailties again. This time Moreno is forced to come out from the back in order to shut down space, leaving Goretzka to spring in behind. The forward's run is met with a delightfully deft ball from Werner, leading to a classy finish across the face of goal and into the far corner. That's two shots and two goals from Goretzka, who is starting to make a real name for himself in this tournament.
The flanks are likely to be where Mexico might find their way back into the contest and it's Jimenez who almost causes some damage down the right. Thankfully for the Germans, Ginter gets across at the vital moment in order to intercept the winger's ball into the middle.
You fear for the Mexicans already here... They'll need to push to find a route back into this match and that will only open up more space for Germany going forward, and they have proved destructive already when presented with the chance. Mexico have failed to tighten up despite those two goals and are throwing everything they have at this Germany side.
Germany hold possession on the edge of the area following some neat play from skipper Draxler. The ball is worked across the edge of the box before being fed for the run of Stindl, who almost breaks in behind. Aquino is the saviour for Mexico, as the attacker gets back to make a vital challenge on the German forward.
CHANCE! Mexico are all over the shop. The defence pushes far too high up the pitch, allowing Werner to run off the shoulder of his marker. Henrichs accepts the invitation and threads a standout ball to meet the forward's movement. The RB Leipzig man has just Ochoa to beat, but the stopper makes a smart save down low with his legs. This could be a long night for the Mexicans if they continue to defend like this.
The wings provide another chance for Mexico to offer something going forward as Alanis swings a tame ball into the middle, much to the annoyance of his teammates. Jimenez does well to keep the ball in on the other side of the pitch and his cross almost causes some issues for Henrichs, who does just about enough to ward off the interests of Hernandez.
That passage of play has seemingly offered Mexico some confidence. An efficient switch of play now sees Layun with space on the right and he swings in a dangerous ball towards the back-post, where Germany are forced to scramble the ball away for a corner. Finally some resistance!
You sense that Mexico are just building up to something now. This time the Dos Santos brothers almost combine to get beyond the Germany defence, but Jonathan is unable to pick up the chipped pass from Giovanni as Ter Stegen comes off his line to gather without too much trouble.
Great play from Herrera on the edge of the German box, as he dances beyond two players before seeing his shot blocked on its way to goal. The rebound falls to Dos Santos, but the German press sees the second shot smothered too.
Mexico's resurgence continues when Dos Santos is able to rob Draxler of possession on the edge of the German box. Fortunately for the skipper, the Mexican's shot is wayward and does not trouble Ter Stegen, who watches the ball drift wide of his left post.
SAVE! Giovani dos Santos causes yet more trouble now with a wonderful run beyond the last man to collect a pass from Aquino. The playmaker faces a rather tight angle and sees his shot kept out by the legs of Ter Stegen with the ball headed towards the far post.
CHANCE! Dos Santos is at it again... Hernandez drops off the shoulder of Ginter to receive his teammate's hopeful forward ball, which takes a deflection off the Germany defender and springs up into the air. The chance is on for Hernandez to lob Ter Stegen, who does just about enough to put pressure on the striker and leave him to stab his effort over the crossbar.
Dos Santos is working some magic at the moment, this time as he buys a cheap free kick off a retreating Rudy on the edge of the Germany box. Herrera stands over the set-piece, before seeing his driven effort tipped over the crossbar by an unsure Ter Stegen. Mexico are unable to profit from the resulting corner, leaving Germany to head away at the near post.
And still Mexico probe for a route back into the game... This time a rouge ball comes in from the left channel and it looks headed straight for the path of Jimenez, who does not account for the movement of Ginter, who gets back just in time to head the ball out for a corner.
Germany will be looking forward to half time having weathered a rather intense storm from Mexico. Low's charges have arguably faded after such a bright start and Mexico have been the dominant side during the last 20 minutes. Still, the Germans hold a two-goal advantage and will be more than happy with their work in the first period.
We are going to have one minute of additional time in the first half here in Sochi.
HALF TIME: GERMANY 2-0 MEXICO
Well, that was Germany efficiency doing its job as usual... Mexico presented Low's men with the opportunity to strike on two occasions in the early stages of the first half and they gladly accepted. Mexico have been much-improved after a torrid start, but they are yet to find a route back into the contest despite a strong period of play.
Goretzka has been sublime during the first half. The young playmaker made two standout runs for his goals and capped them off with two neat finishes too. It's rather maddening to think that most of this side is unlikely to start once the World Cup gets underway in Russia next year.
SECOND HALF! Mexico get us back underway now. The Greens have made a change as Aquino is replaced by Hirving Lozano going forward out on the left-hand side of the pitch.
Mexico move the ball around the back and invite the German press. Low's men respond as Werner chases down a ball into Ochoa and almost makes the keeper look a little silly. Luckily for the stopper, the block sees the ball fall back into his own path and Mexico have a fortunate escape.
It will be interesting to see if Mexico are able to find their rhythm again. The half-time whistle came at the wrong time, really, as the Greens seemed to be establishing more of a foothold in the contest during that first half.
Mexico get the chance to throw something into the box from a corner, which is met by a leaping Jimenez. The forward's header then crashes into the back of Hernandez before looping over the German crossbar. A touch fortunate, really...
CHANCE! Kimmich almost comes a cropper when Hernandez steals possession on the edge of the area. The frontman has Jimenez free over to his right and tries to play him in with a tame pass. His teammate somehow manages to make something of the ball, but drills a shot straight down the throat of Ter Stegen.
CHANCE! Germany break down the other end with blistering pace, as Werner charges in behind the Mexico defence. Moreno is the only man who can catch him, and it looks as though the defender might just give the striker a nudge inside the area. The frontman stays on his feet, however, before flashing an effort across the face of goal and wide. One for VAR, maybe? Nothing doing, though, as the referee waves play on and Mexico are given the goal kick.
YELLOW CARD! Jimenez goes into the book after bringing down Goretzka on the counter just short of the Mexico box. Draxler has a go from distance, but Ochoa is equal to it despite the ball becoming unsighted through the Mexican wall.
GOAL! GERMANY 3-0 MEXICO (TIMO WERNER)
Werner has another tournament goal and Germany are seemingly through to the final on Sunday. The striker has his name on the scoresheet once more, but it's all the work of Draxler. The midfielder occupies a smart pocket of space allowing Hector to run in behind. The young skipper finds his target, who simple squares the ball across the face of goal, allowing Werner to adjust his body and tap home into an open goal.
Where does that goal leave Mexico now then? Probably heading for the third-place playoff match by the looks of it. Germany have offered very little in the second half, but have had the required quality when it counts.
CLOSE! Germany seem to thrive during passages like this one. Low's men steal the ball on the halfway line and move forward through a combination of Werner and Draxler. The former picks out a lovely pass for his teammate on the edge of the box, but Araujo makes a smart interception to deny the Paris Saint-Germain man.
SUBSTITUTION: Groetzka won't have the chance to bag a hat-trick here as he is replaced by Liverpool's Emre Can.
CHANCE! Mexico finally find some space inside the Germany half as Layun breaks free down the right channel. Hernandez is able to find his teammate soon enough, but he cannot find a way past Ter Stegen who makes a strong diving save to his left.
Space is opening up for Germany going forward now and it's Can that finds himself with room this time. A strong run down the left sees the Liverpool man nearly break free inside the area, although Alanis gets a strong foot in to concede the corner.
CROSSBAR! This is possibly the story of Mexico's night in some respects. Jimenez rises highest inside the Germany box to meet a cross from Lozano, only to see his effort beat Ter Stegen and cannon back off the bar...
Brandt has just been brought into the fray and he almost delivers with one of his first touches. The substitute pairs brilliantly with Werner for the one-two, but cannot reclaim the ball on the edge of the box as Moreno steps in to make the challenge.
SUBSTITUTION: Time for another German change and Draxler comes off to a standing ovation. The young skipper is replaced by fellow upstart Amin Younes.
SAVE! Mexico profit from a cheap corner and Marquez rises highest to thump a header towards goal. He should be reeling away with a consolation goal, but Ter Stegen has other ideas as he leaps up to get a hand on the effort and produce a standout stop.
You have to wonder if Mexico started this game too expansively. They have made more defensive changes as the game has worn on and it might have been more prudent to start with a more rigid lineup than they did.
GOAL! GERMANY 3-1 MEXICO (MARCO FABIAN)
Where has that come from? What a stunning free kick from Mexico. Emre Can gives away a silly foul about 30 yards out from goal, leaving Fabian to have a go from distance. Somehow he rockets a peach from distance that has Ter Stegen rooted to the spot.
GOAL! GERMANY 4-1 MEXICO (AMIN YOUNES)
Germany reply instantly and it's the substitute Younes who produces a strong finish into the far corner having collect a pass from Can in the middle of the box. A neat finish, but it mainly comes due to some weary Mexican legs at the back.
FULL TIME: GERMANY 4-1 MEXICO
What a brilliant end to the game. Mexico arguably deserved to get that consolation goal as they threatened constantly throughout that encounter. That said, Germany were as clinical as they ever have been and produced a professional performance of the highest order to establish a final showdown with Chile on Sunday.
That's going to be all from me this evening, but do make sure that you join us again at the weekend as we bring you live coverage of the final between Low's men and Chile in Saint Petersburg. Goodnight!