World champions Germany suffered an opening day defeat at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after Hirving Lozano's first-half strike proved the decisive goal for Mexico in Group F.
Germany 0-1 Mexico
Goals: 0-1 Lozano (35')
Meeting for only the second time at a FIFA World Cup, the teams produced an electric opening in Moscow. Lozano denied by a brilliant Jerome Boateng block at one end preceded a Timo Werner swipe wide at the other. Recently returned from injury, Manuel Neuer then produced a decent stop to deny Hector Moreno. El Tri had only managed one win in 13 previous games against the holders, but they plotted a course for a second when Lozano took advantage of some sloppy German play before slamming home at the near post. Toni Kroos looked to spark an immediate response with a flighted free-kick that was pushed onto the crossbar by Guillermo Ochoa.
Replacing Cologne's Jonas Hector - who missed out with a cold - Marvin Plattenhardt got Germany firing at the start of the second half with a shot that signalled the start of increased pressure from Joachim Löw’s men. Marco Reus was introduced for his first ever World Cup appearance, but it was Werner and Julian Draxler who continued to probe for an equaliser as the half progressed. A threat on the counter-attack throughout, Mexico almost broke through via Chicharito’s sprint that was only cut short by a fine tackle from Mats Hummels. Substitute Mario Gomez might have evaded a frustrating opening for Germany before the end, but the Stuttgart forward failed to get his header right from close range.
- Germany have now played Mexico 14 times, with El Tri picking up just their second win here. Germany have won six, with six draws.Löw’s team had 69% possession and nine shots on target to Mexico's four. The last time the sides met was in the Confederations Cup semi-finals in Russia last June. Germany won 4-1, with Fabian scoring Mexico’s consolation.Bayern forward Thomas Müller has 10 World Cup goals to his name, the most of any active player.The teams had met once before at the World Cup, with Germany prevailing 2-1 at France ’98, former USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann and current Germany Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff scoring in Montpellier.This is Germany's 19th World Cup and they have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the past nine editions, making it to at least the semi-finals at every competition since 2002.The holders will look to bounce back quickly with Sweden next up for Löw’s side on Saturday.
Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Plattenhardt (Gomez 79') – Kroos, Khedira (Reus 60')– Müller, Özil, Draxler – Werner (Brandt 86')
Subs: ter Stegen, Ginter, Rüdiger, Süle, Goretzka, Gündogan, Rudy, Trapp
Absentees: Hector (ill)
Coach: Joachim Löw
Mexico: Ochoa - Salcedo, Castro, Moreno, Gallardo - Herrera, Guardado (c) (Marquez 74') – Layun, Vela (Alvarez 58'), Lozano (Jimenez 66') – Chicharito
Subs: Corono, Gutierrez, Fabian, J. Dos Santos, G. Dos Santos, Talavera, Corona, Peralta, Aquino
Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio
*Bundesliga players in bold