Herving Lonzano’s goal in the thirty-fifth minute was enough to hand a shock opening game defeat to defending World Champions, Germany, in their Group F encounter.
North American giants, Mexico, matched their European rivals for much of the game, ripping Die Mannschaft’s defence to shreds with intricate dribbling and blistering counter attacks.
Manuel Neuer returned from long-term injury to captain Germany, while Mexico’s trusted lieutenants of Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela et al. were in Ricardo Osorio’s starting line up.
Germany dominated possession but were thwarted by a combination of brave defending and good goalkeeping from Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa. However, Mexico got the better openings and should have been two goals to the good but for poor decision making by Mexico’s attackers.
Germany kept a very high line defensively and Mexico made them pay ten minutes from half time through striker, Lozano. The PSV striker evaded the attention of Mesut Ozil before burying at Neuer’s near post. The Germans almost restored parity immediately through Toni Kroos’ free kick but Ochoa diverted the Real Madrid midfielder’s attempt onto the bar.
Joachim Low’s starting line up looked lopsided with his full backs playing as auxiliary wingers and disjointed midfield link up, leaving much space for El Tri’s attackers to pounce, but they were repeatedly denied by profligate finishing and poor decision making.
The second half was all Germany with efforts from all of Kroos, Mario Gomez, Timo Wagner, and a last-minute scorpion kick attempt by keeper Manuel Neuer from a corner kick, but it could not prevent Germany losing their opening game of the World Cup, for the first time since Spain 1982 where they were humbled by Algeria.
Germany will play Sweden next, while the impressive Mexico will look to consolidate against South Korea.