Final, 1-0 Mexico: The referee blows the final whistle. Mexico shocks Germany in their 2018 World Cup opener.
Regardless of what happens from here, Mexico’s players have cemented themselves as national heroes. The upset win over the reigning champion must rank among El Tri’s greatest-ever World Cup accomplishments.
Hirving “Chucky” Lozano scored the winning goal in the 35th minute and claims Man-of-the-Match honors.
But the victory is down to collective effort from a spirited and talented group of players. Full credit must go to Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
Germany dominated possession and territory, but none of the host of scoring chances they created were good enough to beat Guillermo Ochoa, whose nine saves were the most by a Mexico goalkeeper in a World Cup game since 1966, according to Opta.
Germany now is in the unfamiliar position of having to rebound from a World Cup-opening loss. It also had never lost a first World Cup game as defending champion prior to Sunday. Germany now is the third consecutive reigning world champion to lose the opening game in the next World Cup, following Italy’s setback in 2010 and Spain’s in 2014. Will Germany recover?
Mexico shoots to the Group F summit. South Korea and Sweden will play Monday in the other Group F opener. Mexico then will play South Korea, and Germany will take on Sweden on Saturday in the second Group F game.
That’s all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion coming up on NESN.com/soccer.
90th minute, 1-0 Mexico: There will be a minimum of three minutes of injury time in the second half.
89th minute, 1-0 Mexico: It’s a scramble in Mexico’s goal-mouth.
The sequence ends with Toni Kroos firing a shot that glances off the post and goes out for a goal kick.
86th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Germany makes its final substitution, replacing Timo Werner with Julian Brandt.
82nd minute, 1-0 Mexico: Miguel Layun fires a shot narrowly wide.
The familiar patterns reign with Germany pushing players forward and bossing possession, and Mexico countering with two or three forwards.
The teams are creating scoring chances this way, but Hirving Lozano’s fine finish and Germany’s lack of sharpness in the final third is the difference … so far.
77th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Miguel Layun makes a solo charge toward Germany’s goal but the Mexico winger shoots off target.
76th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Germany’s Toni Kroos shoots first-time, but his curled effort flies just wide of Mexico’s goal.
73rd minute, 1-0 Mexico: Mexico’s third, and final, substitution is historic. Andres Guardado exits. Rafa Marquez enters.
72nd minute, 1-0 Mexico: Jesus Gallardo is down on the field and receiving treatment after taking a well-struck ball to the face.
70th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez goes down under contact inside Germany’s penalty are. Mexico wants a penalty kick, but the referee denies their forceful appeals.
66th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Hirving “Chucky” Lozano leaves, Raul Jimenez enters in Mexico’s second substitution.
65th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Germany’s Joshua Kimmich shoots just over the crossbar on an acrobatic bicycle kick, having taken a pass from Jerome Boateng.
60th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Germany responds with a personnel change, replacing Sami Khedira with Marco Reus.
58th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Mexico makes its first substitution. Carlos Vela exits. Edson Alvarez enters.
57th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Javier “Chicharito Hernandez” squanders a great opportunity to double Mexico’s lead after failing to find Carlos Vela inside Germany’s penalty area in a two-on-one situation.
53rd minute, 1-0 Mexico: Germany’s Joshua Kimmich shoots high over Mexico’s goal.
Germany has started the second half with an increased share of possession, but Mexico has done well to restrict space and minimize the threat.
46th minute, 1-0 Mexico: The second half of Germany vs. Mexico is under way.
Halftime, 1-0 Mexico: The first half ends with Mexico unexpectedly in front.
Mexico now must be daring to dream after that period of play. El Tri was focused and fearless and seemed to catch Germany off guard with their well-executed game plan. Rather than try to control possession, Mexico opted for the counter-attack, which produced devastating results.
Lozano’s goal will confirm his place among the World Cup 2018’s rising stars. His dribbling to create the necessary space showed his skill, and he demonstrated his confidence and composure with a fine finish past Manuel Neuer.
Germany must impose itself on Mexico by increasing the pace and improving the precision of its play in the second half. There’s also this fun fact to consider.
45th minute, 1-0 Mexico: The fourth official has indicated there will be one minute of injury time in the first half.
45th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Mexico’s Carlos shoots wide from just outside Germany’s penalty area. The chance came from, you guessed it, a counter-attack.
39th minute, 1-0 Mexico: The referee shows Mexico’s Hector Moreno a yellow card.
38th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa saves Toni Kross’ free kick off the crossbar.
37th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Germany pushes right back into Mexico’s third in search of a response, but Jerome Boateng’s effort is blocked.
35th minute, 1-0 Mexico: Hirving “Chucky” Lozano puts Mexico in front after finishing off a counter-attack.
Watch Lozano’s opener en espanol (in Spanish).
34th minute, 0-0: Miguel Layun narrowly misses a through pass that might have led to a certain goal from 8 yards out.
34th minute, 0-0: Mexico fans shouting “Ole!” on each pass reflects the confidence with which their team is playing against the world champions.
29th minute, 0-0: The balance of play is even now, with Germany pressing higher up the field and looking to pepper Guillermo Ochoa’s goal from distance, and Mexico trying to win the ball and counter-attack quickly. This is shaping up to be one of the best World Cup 2018 games we’ve seen so far.
25th minute, 0-0: Mexico fans are doing that chant again on goal kicks. FIFA has fined Mexico’s soccer federation for it before and might do so again.
22nd minute, 0-0: Toni Kroos drives a shot on goal from distance, but it flies straight to Guillermo Ochoa.
20th minute, 0-0: Timo Werner turns and shoots on goal from just inside the center of Mexico’s penalty area, but Guillermo Ochoa is positioned well enough to save the shot comfortably.
14th minute, 0-0: Mexico’s Hector Moreno heads a free kick toward Germany’s goal from close range, but it bounces to Neuer.
Mexico have enjoyed a much better start than Germany.
10th minute, 0-0: Mexico continues to mount early scoring chances, with Hector Herrera drawing a save from Manuel Neuer this time.
Third minute, 0-0: Germany’s Timo Werner rolls a shot wide from a tight angle.
Second minute, 0-0: Mexico’s Hirving Lozano receives a pass, darts into Germany’s penalty area and shoots from close range, but Germany’s Jerome Boateng makes a goal-saving block.
Germany shows some confusion on the ensuing corner kick, as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer doesn’t handle the ball with the assurance we expect from him.
Kickoff: Germany vs. Mexico is under way.
Pregame: The players are on the field for the national anthem, and kickoff is imminent.
The legions of Mexico fans in attendance have delivered an emphatic rendition of their national anthem.
10:15 a.m.: Here are the starting lineups and expected formations.
10 a.m. ET: Mexico’s soccer team will begin its 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign at its moment of truth.
Germany and Mexico will meet Sunday in Moscow in their opening game of World Cup Group F play. Germany represents the stiffest test Mexico will face in its effort to reach its own promised land: the quarterfinals or beyond.
As the reigning champion and perennial powerhouse, Germany must endure a different kind of pressure than Mexico. No team has successfully defended its World Cup title since Brazil in 1962, and recent World Cup winners have stumbled in subsequent tournaments. Both are fates Germany hopes to avoid, and it would do well to continue its own World Cup-opening trend.
Germany vs. Mexico will kick off at 11 a.m. ET. Join us right here for all the action from Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport/USA TODAY Sports Images