Germany’s defence of their World Cup title started with a whimper as they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Mexico in Moscow on Sunday.
Joachim Low's side came into the tournament on a run of poor form, winning just one of their six friendlies since qualifying for Russia 2018 with a 100 per cent record.
Those recent struggles were evident from the outset against a vibrant Mexico, who scarcely gave their more illustrious opponents a chance to settle during a pulsating opening.
Their positive approach was rewarded with the only goal of the game after 35 minutes when Hirving Lozano finished off a flowing counter-attacking move with a crisp drive.
Joshua Kimmich and Timo Werner both came close in the second period, but Mexico were able to hold on for a famous victory with something approaching relative comfort.
Low must quickly lift his team for their next Group F game against Sweden on Saturday, while Mexico know a win against South Korea on the same day would give them a wonderful chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Manuel Neuer was handed a first competitive start since September and would surely have been called into action inside the first minute had Jerome Boateng not superbly blocked Lozano's close-range effort.
Werner then fired a warning shot across the face of Guillermo Ochoa's goal during a breathless opening few minutes.
Any thoughts that Mexico would be overawed by Germany's assortment of superstars continued to be dispelled during a high-octane first half-hour, Hector Moreno heading straight at Neuer from their clearest opening.
Germany looked shell-shocked by Mexico's verve and vigour, eventually falling behind 10 minutes before the break.
Javier Hernandez's superb one-two with Andres Guardado allowed him to spin away from Mats Hummels just inside the Germany half and feed Lozano down the left.
The PSV forward then cut inside the wafer-thin resistance offered by the back-tracking Mesut Ozil to crash a shot inside Neuer's right post.
That deserved lead was nearly extinguished just two minutes later, however, when Toni Kroos' dipping free-kick arrowed towards the top corner. Ochoa did wonderfully well to deny the midfielder, getting the faintest of touches to push the ball against the crossbar.
Yet any thoughts that Low's star-studded team would come out for the second half rejuvenated failed to materialise.
Mexico were able to keep them at bay until Kimmich's ambitious overhead kick and Werner's instinctive close-range effort both flashed narrowly over in quick succession midway through the half.
After squandering a number of golden opportunities in the closing stages, with Miguel Layun particularly wasteful, Mexico were fortunate to see Julian Brandt's half-volleyed effort clip the post in a frantic finish to proceedings.
Key Opta Facts:
- Germany have lost their opening match at a World Cup for only the second time, also doing so in 1982 against Algeria (they went on to reach the final that year).
- This is the third consecutive World Cup in which the reigning champion has failed to win their opening match – Italy drew 1-1 with Paraguay in 2010, while Spain lost 5-1 against the Netherlands in 2014.
- Germany had 26 shots, the most by a side without scoring in a World Cup fixture since 2006 (Portugal v England, 29 shots in a 0-0 draw).
- Mexico have lost just two of their last 18 World Cup group games (W9 D7).
- Germany named their oldest starting XI for a World Cup match (27 years, 310 days) since the 2002 final against Brazil (28 years, 166 days).
16 de diciembre 2018
|Manchester United´s lack of ambition under Mourinho is scary – Keane|
|Mourinho: All Manchester United can achieve is fourth|
|Quagliarella should be protected by UNESCO, jokes Sampdoria coach|
|Manchester United surpass last season´s goals-against tally in first 17 games|
|Hasenhuttl revels in ´unbelievable´ victory over Arsenal|
|Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1: Shaqiri´s late show bails out Alisson as Reds return to the top|
|Edinburgh in control in Champions Cup, Racing win again|
|Emery ponders January signing after Bellerin injury|
|It is only a knock – Sarri plays down Hazard injury fears|
|Redskins QB Alex Smith released from hospital|
|Starc: If I listen to Warne, I may as well retire|
|Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments|
|Hazard refusing to give up on Premier League title hopes|
|Ziyech & Blind score hat-tricks as Ajax claim 8-0 win|
|Canelo v Fielding: What next for three-weight champion Alvarez?|
|Southampton 3 Arsenal 2: Austin and Ings end Gunners´ long unbeaten run|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2: Sensational Hazard proves the difference|
|Pogba on the bench as Clyne starts for Liverpool|
|Lipsky ends long barren spell in Malelane|
|Lakers´ Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical|
|Fletcher pushed Miller on to Broncos sack record|
|The Sarri effect: Hazard surpasses 2017-18 goal involvements in just 16 games|
|Van der Burgh retires on a high note with breaststroke double|
|Rashford: Liverpool was never an option|
|No team Liverpool play this season will be as motivated as Man United – Klopp|
|India surprised by contentious Kohli decision - Bumrah|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 15|
|Miller eyeing Joshua bout at Madison Square Garden|
|Finch cleared of serious damage after another finger blow|
|Rashford ´untouchable´ because he plays on his limits – Mourinho|
|It´s important to have his mentality - Mayfield thrilled with Kobe Bryant visit as Browns beat Bronc|
|Centurion Latham indebted to ´world-class´ Williamson|
|Spurs´ Dier out until January after appendix removal|
|A-League Review: Glory down Jets to stay unbeaten|
|Philander ruled out of first Test|
|Controversial Kohli dismissal puts Australia in command|
|Thunder´s Westbrook: ´When we defend like that — best team in the league´|
|Kante at his best further forward, reiterates Sarri|
|Rose capitulates in Indonesia to squander chance to top rankings|
|Fielding: The better man won but I lived a dream|
|Rallying Bulls stun Spurs, LeBron and Ball post triple-doubles|
|Latham century puts New Zealand in commanding position|
|Mayfield leads Browns past Broncos|
|Canelo-GGG trilogy? We can make it happen – Alvarez|
|Canelo outclasses Fielding by third-round TKO|
|Farmer retains title prior to Canelo-Fielding bout|
|Qatar unveils Lusail Stadium for 2022 World Cup|
|Lakers pair LeBron, Ball revel in triple-double feat|
|Allegri hails ´great professional´ Ronaldo|
|LeBron, Ball first Lakers team-mates with triple-doubles in same game since 1982|
|Premier League contenders Liverpool ready to win titles – Henderson|
|Hopkins´ two TDs help Texans close in on AFC South title with win over Jets|
|Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost popularity|
|Mourinho in the dark over transfers as Pogba rumours swirl again|
|Mourinho marvels at Salah going nuclear|
|The lucky ones - Mourinho assesses Liverpool´s title charge|
15 de diciembre 2018
|Juventus boss Allegri turned his back on Ronaldo penalty|
|Dickerson hoping Barkley falls short of breaking his records|
|Bristol shock La Rochelle, Clermont win again|
|LeBron: Meeting Jordan for first time was godly|
|Ronaldo scores Juventus´ 5,000th Serie A goal|
|I was all over the place - Allen reaches Scottish Open final despite hangovers|
|Solari defends wasteful Asensio after slim Madrid win|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Ronaldo capitalises on Zaza woe|
|I do my work on the pitch – Icardi unconcerned by Inter contract discussions|
|Lyon defender Rafael set for three months out|
|Inter captain Icardi is the ´perfect´ striker – Spalletti|
|Fulham have to stick together, says Ranieri|
|Nuno hails ´very special´ Wolves achievement after third straight win|
|Stuttgart captain Gentner´s father dies at Hertha fixture|