Mexico stunned the world champions 1-0 on Sunday (June 17) with a thoroughly deserved victory at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in which starlet Hirving Lozano announced himself on the big stage. Make no mistake, this was no upset. Germany simply had no answer to Mexico's pace on the counter and their defence was run ragged the whole night. Coach Joachim Low had attempted to stem the flow in the second half, but nothing worked for Germany and it's back to the drawing board ahead of their next game against Sweden on Saturday.
Here's the lowdown on the game:
1. The goals
Germany 0 Mexico 1 (Hirving Lozano 35th)
2. The wow moment
The reverberations after Lozano's angled strike had nestled into the bottom left-hand corner of Manuel Neuer's goal could be felt all the way from Moscow to Mexico City. It came after another lightning counter-attack, one of the many raids the rapid Mexicans launched against the hapless German defence. Chicharito's pass split open Low's men like the Red Sea but there was still work to be done. Lozano, however, was cool as a cucumber, feinting and cutting inside while showing quick feet before placing his shot past Neuer. A star was born.
3. THE TALKING POINT
In a game of such magnitude, the two most obvious issues jump out. Low's tactics and the omission of Leroy Sane from the World Cup squad. Julian Draxler and Mesut Ozil were ineffective on the wings, and their inability or unwillingness to track back left Joshua Kimmich especially exposed. Mexico repeatedly targeted the right flank to great effect with Lozano given the freedom to run the channels. Sami Khedira was never at the races and Low must be questioned over his line-up with Leon Goretzka and Sebastian Rudy left kicking their heels on the bench. Low's dropping of Sane from his 23-man Finals squad has caused consternation, and this was a game in which Germany could have done with his pace and guile.
4. THE STAR
Lozano's agent will surely be a wanted man after Mexico beat the odds to become the first team to record a victory over Germany in their World Cup opener since Algeria in 1982. The PSV winger is the first player in 60 years to score against Germany in their first Finals match as the defending champions and the top scorer for Mexico in World Cup qualifying was also his club's top scorer last season. The 22-year-old will surely be a wanted man after Russia.
5. WHAT THE RESULT MEANS
Germany will still be fancied to qualify from Group F with South Korea likely whipping boys. However, the shock defeat means it might very well be a battle between Die Mannschaft and Sweden for second place. Low has plenty of work to do ahead of the do-or-die clash against Sweden with his pedestrian side in urgent need of more impetus. Luckily for Germany, Sweden do not have the same sort of pace in their side, but Low still needs to freshen up his starting XI if they are not to crash out from the group stage.
Mexico will be proud after beating Germany for the first time in the World Cup after getting it third time lucky following two previous losses in 1962 and 1978. Just like Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and the Netherlands in 2014, once again the reigning world champions came unstuck against the underdogs. They've had an unenviable record of having been knocked out in the round-of-16 in six successive tournaments, but after this famous win, they will surely be looking to at least go a step further in Russia.