Mexico stuns defending champions Germany


Mexico had never beaten Germany in a competitive match but was transformed from the team which lost to the Germans 4-1 in last year's Confederations Cup, conceding twice in the opening eight minutes. The Lozano goal prompted what Mexican authorities claimed was a minor quake in the Mexico City area, probably prompted by the entire city jumping into the air and landing at the same time.

"We will certainly not change our match plan".

Mexico's win over Germany is like a modern incarnation of the David and Goliath story. We were not able to impose our usual way of playing, attacking, and there were lots of counter-attacks against us.

Worryingly for the remaining group matches, the Germans lacked leadership when they needed it most - despite the return of captain Manuel Neuer in goal. Its great to start on the right foot, against the reigning world champions.

The goal-scorer Lozano said, "I don't know if it's the biggest victory in [Mexico's] history, but it's one of the biggest for sure".

When the final whistle sounded in an improbable 1-0 win over the defending champions on Sunday night, oft-disparaged Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio turned to the crowd and pumped both arms in the air a half-dozen times.

"I remember on the bus from the hotel to play Chile, after losing our first game in 2010, the silence was scary", said Spain global Cesc Fabregas on BBC One.

By beating Germany, Mexico put itself in position to possible play Serbia, Switzerland or Costa Rica in the second round and avoid a matchup with Brazil. Fate, and the World Cup draw, had other ideas.

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Germany, meanwhile, had 26 shots without causing Guillermo Ochoa too many problems, although the Mexico goalkeeper made nine saves in keeping a memorable clean sheet.

A general view inside the stadium during a Russia training session ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening match against Saudia Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium on June 13, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

One desperate last attack had Neuer come up for a corner, but a towering header from the veteran Marquez and subsequent claim from Ochoa allowed Mexico to close out an unforgettable triumph.

"In the first half the impression was that we were not as dynamic as we usually are and in the second half I didn't have the impression we were losing strength", the 58-year-old told reporters.

Fans in Mexico use the chant to insult opposing goalkeepers as they take a goal kick.

A shaky warm-up campaign had called into question the dominant form the Germans showed in qualifying, but experience and records were on their side, having won every opening game at major tournaments since Joachim Loew took over as coach in 2006.

Sweden and South Korea probably won't be the biggest threats to a defence that suddenly looks shaky and devoid of confidence, but the giants that Germany face in the knockout stages won't be quite so forgiving.