Defending champions Germany crashed to the first defeat in their opening game of a World Cup since 1982 as Hirving Lozano’s clinical finish earned Mexico a shock 1-0 victory on Sunday.
The highly-rated PSV Eindhoven forward struck the winner on 35 minutes after a blistering counter-attack at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow as Mexico beat Germany for just the second time in history.
Germany’s preparations for the tournament were plagued by poor results and controversy, and their problems were magnified in the Russian capital, leaving their proud record of never being eliminated in the group stage of a World Cup already in danger.
And if they finish runners-up to the Mexicans, Germany could be on course to face Brazil in a daunting second-round matchup.
“I don’t know if it’s the biggest win in (Mexico’s) history but doubtless it is one of the biggest for sure,” Lozano said.
“It’s great to start on the right foot when you’re playing against the world champions.
“I think it’s definitely the best goal I’ve ever scored in my life, we all dream of playing in the World Cup.”
Germany coach Joachim Loew did not mince his words, saying: “We played very badly.”
Loew started eight of the nine 2014 World Cup winners in his squad, with Mesut Ozil returning from a knee injury and Manuel Neuer back in goal following his lengthy absence for the Group F clash.
Jerome Boateng’s build-up to the finals was also hampered by a groin injury, but the Bayern Munich centre-back was on the alert inside 60 seconds to thrust himself desperately in front of a Lozano effort.
A remarkably open start saw Timo Werner sprint in behind the Mexico defence before dragging across the face of goal, while Mats Hummels shot straight at Guillermo Ochoa after a botched clearance.
Neuer held well twice in quick succession, first from a long-range Hector Herrera strike and then again to keep out Hector Moreno’s header, as Mexico attacked the Germany backline with regularity.
Carlos Salcedo nearly diverted a teasing cross into his own net, while Timo Werner hit tamely at Ochoa when an umarked Julian Draxler appeared the better option.
Mexico continued to threaten, Miguel Layun narrowly unable to latch onto a through ball, but their goal arrived 10 minutes before the break as Germany were again sliced apart.