Germany’s World Cup defence got off to a shaky start after going down 1-0 to Mexico in their Group F opener at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.
- Germany 0 Mexico 1
- Moreno goes close with header inside 15 minutes
- Lozano (34′) bags brilliant breakaway goal
- Kimmich overhead-kick lands on roof of net
- Brandt volley hits outside of post late on
Hirving Lozano finished off a terrific team goal to seal a surprise victory over the defending champions in the first major shock at Russia 2018.
The defeat for Die Mannschaft is their first in eight opening games at the tournament, while El Tri remain unbeaten in their six opening fixtures.
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018
Germany had won all seven of their previous opening matches in the finals, but Mexico were intent on taking the game to them from the first whistle.
With just five minutes gone, Carlos Vela played a perfectly-weighted pass for Lozano, who got in behind the defence and cut inside before getting a shot away that was blocked by Jerome Boateng.
The resulting corner came back off the standing leg of Marvin Plattenhardt at the far post, but Manuel Neuer was aware of the danger and bailed his team-mate out with a good claim.
The Mexicans’ tactics were clear; they drove at the Germans with pace and threatened once again in the 15th minute. Miguel Layun sent in a set-piece from the right which Hector Moreno flung himself at but it was another easy save for Neuer.
Joachim Low’s side breached the opposition defence for the first time in the 20th minute and should have scored. Timo Werner collected a Joshua Kimmich cross from the right, turned and shot but his attempt was tame and straight at Guillermo Ochoa.
El Tri looked to hit the Germans on the break at every opportunity and did so successfully in the 34th minute. After winning the ball in their own half, a quick one-two on the halfway line between Javier Hernandez and Andres Guardado allowed the former to slide in Lozano, who cut inside the hapless Mesut Ozil and finished clinically inside Neuer’s near post.
The four-time world champions went close to hitting back just five minutes later. Kimmich was fouled just outside the area and Toni Kroos almost equalised with a sublime curling free-kick that was pushed onto the crossbar by Ochoa.
They looked to test Ochoa twice in quick succession from distance early in the second half, but failed to trouble the Mexican keeper. First Plattenhardt curled an effort wide from the left, before Kimmich missed the target from the right with his weaker left foot.
Juan Carlos Osorio’s men could have doubled their lead in the 57th minute but poor decision making in the final third let them down. Hernandez and Vela drive forward but the former overcooked his pass and allowed Kimmich to recover and clear the danger.
Germany came close to a spectacular equaliser in the 65th minute when two defenders linked up to have a shot at goal. Boateng found Bayern Munich team-mate Kimmich with a cross from the right and the right-back attempted an acrobatic overhead-kick that went agonisingly over the bar.
The game became frenetic in the last 10 minutes as Die Mannschaft tried to salvage a point. Mexico were relentless at the back, however, and broke downfield on many occasions without success.
They were almost punished in the last minute when second-half substitute Julian Brandt almost stole a point for the European giants, but his thunderous volley shaved the left upright.