Mexico stun cup holders Germany
Mexico pulled off a major upset when they defeated the reigning champions Germany 1-0 to get their 2018 World Cup campaign off to a positive note.
Germany got the ball rolling in Moscow in defence of their title, hoping to become the third nation after Italy in 1934 and 1938 and Brazil in 1958 and 1962 to successfully defend the ‘Cup of Cups’.
Mexico started with the usual front-three in Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez and a surprise start for youngster Hirving Lozano.
Leading the line, Timo Werner tried to show why he was chosen ahead of other figures when he got on the shoulder of the last defender to have a crack goal but it went wide of Giullemo Ochoa’s goal
A cleverly taken short-corner from the Germans landed indirectly to Mats Hummels who took a crack at goal, but it was safely guarded by Ochoa after five minutes of play.
The Mexicans forced a number of set-pieces on the Europeans and came close to breaking through on a few occasions, with Alberto Moreno sneaking ahead of the defence to get a header in off a free-kick.
A nicely played ball from the right by Joshua Kimmich into the box fell to Werner who managed to control despite a challenge and took a crack at goal which went tamely to Ochoa.
It was proving to be a brick wall for the Germans in the way of the numbers stacked behind the ball deployed by Mexico, which forced Toni Kroos to have a crack from range on 20 minutes.
Following a period of chances falling astray at either end, Mexico took aim and went in front after Lozano showed great composure to beat his marker for a near-post finish past Neuer on 35 minutes.
Germany hit back almost immediately when a free-kick taken by Kroos landed on the top of post- Mexico living to see another day.
In the second half, Die Mannschaft found a few opportunities to get the equaliser none more than an overhead kick by Werner founding the top of the net at the midway stage.
The four-time and current defending World champions were edging closer and closer to the equaliser. A shot from Kroos, who was in acres of space, sailed wide.
Germany continued knocking and a late strike from substitute Julian Brandt found the outside of the post, as Mexico through Lozano threatened to increase their tally.
In the midst of it all, the North Americans soaked the pressure for a famous win as Germany loses their first World Cup clash since going down 1-0 to Spain in the 2010 last four in Durban.
Germany: Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Plattenhardt, Khedira, Kroos, Müller, Özil, Draxler, Werner.
Mexico: Ochoa, Salcedo, Ayala, Moreno, Gallardo, Herrera, Guardado, Layún, Vela, Chicharito, Lozano.