Defending Champions Germany were stunned by a resilient Mexican team who ran out 1-0 winners in the opening match of the group.
Joachim Low’s men were sloppy from the start, allowing Mexico to call the shots and detect the pace of the game at the Luzhnikhi stadium. The North-Americans created a lot of chances but were not clinical in front of goal. Germany upped the tempo in the second 45 minutes but couldn’t convert their chances.
The duo of Hernandez and Carlos Vela were guilty of making poor decisions when they were presented with clear-cut chances. However, all that changed when young striker Hirving Lozano latched on to Chicharito’s pass before beating Mesut Ozil and followed up with a shot that beat Manuel Neuer from 14 yards to send the Mexicans into raptures.
Germany, who have a decent record in World Cup openers improved their game in the second -half but failed to break the deadlock despite the introduction of Marco Reus, Gomez and Brandt with the Mexicans defending for their lives.
The loss meant that the Germans are the third defending Champions not to record a win in their first group game in three consecutive World Cups with Spain losing 5-1 to Holland in Brazil 2014, while Italy could only muster a draw 1-1 against Paraguay in South Africa 2010. You can also trace back to Korea/Japan 2002 when defending Champions France were shocked by World Cup debutants Senegal before bowing out in the group stage.
Die Mannschaft can learn a lesson or two from history to avoid becoming the third defending Champion to be knocked out of the group stages. The remaining two group games against Sweden and South Korea will be of utmost importance for Joachim Low’s men as they fight to defend their crown.
In the other group F fixture, South Korea will square up against the Swedes at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium.