Germany’s defence of their World Cup title started with a whimper as they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Mexico in Moscow on Sunday.
Joachim Low's side came into the tournament on a run of poor form, winning just one of their six friendlies since qualifying for Russia 2018 with a 100 per cent record.
Those recent struggles were evident from the outset against a vibrant Mexico, who scarcely gave their more illustrious opponents a chance to settle during a pulsating opening.
Their positive approach was rewarded with the only goal of the game after 35 minutes when Hirving Lozano finished off a flowing counter-attacking move with a crisp drive.
Joshua Kimmich and Timo Werner both came close in the second period, but Mexico were able to hold on for a famous victory with something approaching relative comfort.
Low must quickly lift his team for their next Group F game against Sweden on Saturday, while Mexico know a win against South Korea on the same day would give them a wonderful chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Manuel Neuer was handed a first competitive start since September and would surely have been called into action inside the first minute had Jerome Boateng not superbly blocked Lozano's close-range effort.
Werner then fired a warning shot across the face of Guillermo Ochoa's goal during a breathless opening few minutes.
Any thoughts that Mexico would be overawed by Germany's assortment of superstars continued to be dispelled during a high-octane first half-hour, Hector Moreno heading straight at Neuer from their clearest opening.
Germany looked shell-shocked by Mexico's verve and vigour, eventually falling behind 10 minutes before the break.
Javier Hernandez's superb one-two with Andres Guardado allowed him to spin away from Mats Hummels just inside the Germany half and feed Lozano down the left.
The PSV forward then cut inside the wafer-thin resistance offered by the back-tracking Mesut Ozil to crash a shot inside Neuer's right post.
That deserved lead was nearly extinguished just two minutes later, however, when Toni Kroos' dipping free-kick arrowed towards the top corner. Ochoa did wonderfully well to deny the midfielder, getting the faintest of touches to push the ball against the crossbar.
Yet any thoughts that Low's star-studded team would come out for the second half rejuvenated failed to materialise.
Mexico were able to keep them at bay until Kimmich's ambitious overhead kick and Werner's instinctive close-range effort both flashed narrowly over in quick succession midway through the half.
After squandering a number of golden opportunities in the closing stages, with Miguel Layun particularly wasteful, Mexico were fortunate to see Julian Brandt's half-volleyed effort clip the post in a frantic finish to proceedings.
Key Opta Facts:
- Germany have lost their opening match at a World Cup for only the second time, also doing so in 1982 against Algeria (they went on to reach the final that year).
- This is the third consecutive World Cup in which the reigning champion has failed to win their opening match – Italy drew 1-1 with Paraguay in 2010, while Spain lost 5-1 against the Netherlands in 2014.
- Germany had 26 shots, the most by a side without scoring in a World Cup fixture since 2006 (Portugal v England, 29 shots in a 0-0 draw).
- Mexico have lost just two of their last 18 World Cup group games (W9 D7).
- Germany named their oldest starting XI for a World Cup match (27 years, 310 days) since the 2002 final against Brazil (28 years, 166 days).
13. November 2018
|Lindelof rues international break for Man Utd|
|Shaqiri confident in more goals for Liverpool|
|Giants too good for 49ers in crunch time|
|Southgate named honorary Yorkshireman|
|Nicky Butt: Manchester United low on confidence|
|Sissoko: Dembele criticism overblown|
|Thibodeau discusses Butler trade: We thought this was the best deal for us|
|Acuna, Ohtani win rookie of the year awards|
|LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’|
|Welbeck has successful second operation on broken ankle|
|UEFA warns FFP cases can be reopened based on ´new information´|
12. November 2018
|Foakes to keep England place for second Test|
|WATCH: Rooney looking sharp in England training return|
|Mbappe: Money in football is truly indecent|
|Djokovic back to brilliant best as Isner is beaten|
|Celta Vigo replace Mohamed with Cardoso after Real Madrid defeat|
|Joshua intrigued by Usyk, says Hearn|
|Ibrahimovic beats Rooney to MLS Newcomer award|
|Rams WR Kupp out for season with torn ACL|
|Sturridge denies ever gambling on football following FA charge|
|Koeman understands De Ligt´s Eredivisie frustrations|
|Jimmy Butler trade: 76ers acquire Timberwolves star in blockbuster deal|
|´Improve your attitude´ - Deschamps issues Dembele warning|
|Sturridge charged with misconduct over alleged breach of betting rules|
|Saints sign Marshall following Bryant injury|
|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
|It´s like the FBI came - River assistant unable to talk to Gallardo during final|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Madrid ´very happy´ with Solari, says Butragueno|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Atlanta to meet in conference finals|
|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
|Higuain is feeling a lot of pressure – Gattuso|
|I didn´t insult anyone, says apologetic Higuain|
|Allegri delighted with Juventus response|
|Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix as Harvick, Truex qualify for Championship 4|
|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
|PSG coach Tuchel demands more despite Monaco thrashing|
|Boca missed too many chances, rues Schelotto|
|Solari remains tight-lipped on Real Madrid future|
|Hamilton not surprised by Verstappen-Ocon collision|
11. November 2018
|Ronaldo fires Juventus to Serie A record|