Lozano lights up the Luzhniki as El Tri defeat holders
Mexico pulled off a historic victory in the opening game of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Group F, defeating World Cup holders Germany 1-0 in front of a fervent - and full - Luzhniki Stadium.
Juan Carlos Osorio's masterplan worked to perfection, with El Tri soaking up the long spells of German possession and hitting Die Nationalmannschaft on the counter-attack. Hirving Lozano's strike was a result of a swift break, with green shirts swarming forwards and the PSV Eindhoven man coolly converting past Manuel Neuer.
Joachim Low's side played their part in an enthralling encounter, with Toni Kroos hitting a free kick against the crossbar. Their efforts were ultimately in vain, with the Mexicans claiming all three points.
Amazing – Germany are now the third holders in a row to fail to win their opening match at the following World Cup. Even more worrying: Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014 both went out after the group stage and the four-time champions surely have their work cut out for them if they want to avoid a similar fate. Not much worked as they had hoped for and changes will certainly be needed for Joachim Low in the next game.
Mexico came to the match with a plan and stuck to it to perfection. The team learned from their mistakes of the Confederations Cup and designed a system that would prevent the Germans playing their usual passing game and take advantage of the spaces at the back. The last minutes were tense but Mexico rarely allowed clear chances. It was a deserved victory against the world champions.
Hirving Lozano not only scored the winner, but played a key role in El Tri claiming all three points. He pressed and harried the German defence, not giving them a moment's rest until his substitution after 66 minutes.
This defeat represents the first time that Germany have lost the opening game in defence of their Trophy. They beat Argentina 3-1 in 1958, drew 0-0 with Poland in 1978, and defeated Bolivia 1-0 in 1994
What’s next? Germany-Sweden – Group F, 23 June, Sochi Korea Republic-Mexico – Group F, 23 June, Rostov-on-Don