A sloppy and slow German side started defending their World Cup title with a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of a fast-paced, plucky and attacking Mexican team.
This was Germany’s second defeat in a World Cup opener after its 2-1 loss against Algeria in 1982.
They are now under pressure to win the rest of the Group F matches against Sweden on June 23 and South Korea on June 27 to ensure they reach the knockout stage.
The first 20 minutes of Sunday’s game hinted at a win for Mexico as the sheer pace of their attacks, wave after wave, left the German defence shaken.
In the very first minute, Mexico got a chance when their forward Carlos Vela found gap behind the German midfield and passed the ball to winger Hirving Lozano (pictured). Before Lozano could bang it home, he was tackled by Germany’s Jerome Boateng.
Seconds later, Germany almost scored but Timo Werner’s shot went across goal.
Within a couple of minutes, the game gathered momentum and both sides made efforts to take an early lead.
Soon after Thomas Müller’s corner was cleared by Mexican defenders, Mats Hummels came in possession of the ball on the edge of the box from where he sent a half-volley which was easily saved by Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Mexico won a free kick after Hummels fouled Vela but Miguel Layún sent it over the bar.
In the 10th minute, Hector Herrera sent a thunderous shot which was held by Manuel Neuer.
Germany got a chance to score in the 16th minute when Joshua Kimmich sent a pinpointed cross across the Mexican box but Khedira could not bring his head on to it.
Mexico’s Javier Hernández (Chicharito) came in possession of the ball with Kimmich out of position. But he did not use his left foot and the chance was wasted.
After a thrill-packed, 30-minute attacking game, both teams were about to go on the defensive when Mexico scored the all-important goal in the 35th minute.
Khedira lost possession in the Mexican half and Vela passed the ball to Chicharito who sent it to unmarked Lozano as Kimmich had moved forward. Lozano fired a low shot that gave Mexico a well-deserved lead.
Stung by the goal, Germany hit back. They soon earned a free kick but Toni Kroos’ only shook the cross bar.
Mexico kept mounting attacks to further increase the lead and the referee’s whistle marking the end of first half of play came as a welcome relief for Germany.
During the second half, Germany became more focused on the game, and it was Mexico’s turn to be on the defensive.
But despite their best efforts, Germany were unable to come back into the game.
‘Artificial earthquake in 35th minute’
Lozano seems to have sent shock waves through Mexico City with his winning goal against Germany.
Mexico’s Network of Seismic Monitoring, Analysis and Geological Investigation wrote on Twitter that it recorded an artificial earthquake in the capital in the thirty-fifth minute of the match.
The quake, it added, was possibly caused by “massive jumps” throughout the city in response to Lozano’s goal.