It's been 62 years since a country has repeated as World Cup champions. Mexico did its part to keep it that way in the opening match of Group F on Sunday.
The last time Germany failed to win its opening match in a World Cup was 1986. Mexico hadn't defeated Germany since 1985. But none of that mattered as El Tri stunned the Germans with a clinical counterattack in the 35th minute. Hirving Lozano got the goal, but it was a well-worked combination between Chicharito and captain Andrè Guardado that created the opening.
The youngster puts it away!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 17, 2018
Chicharito starts the counterattack and Chucky Lozano finishes it to give Mexico the 1-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/Ze5IUJuE3d
A turnover 30 yards out from Mexico's goal quickly turned into a scoring opportunity at the other end as Chicharito laid off to Guardado before sprinting forward to receive a return pass. With the Germans scrambling to pick up runners, Chicharito slipped Lozano through on the left. And the PSV forward took it from there.
Cutting back on his right foot, Lozano left Mesut Özil in his wake before firing past Manuel Neuer at the near post. It was a deserved 1-0 lead after Mexico hadn't flinched from the opening whistle against the champs.
He didn't figure into the match-winning goal, but Carlos Vela put in a stellar performance in his 58 minutes on the pitch.
Starting in a central attacking role behind Chicharito, Vela was the maestro behind multiple dangerous counterattacks from Mexico. Had Chicharito been a bit sharper in his passing during a 2v1 break early in the second half, Vela may have found the back of the net. The LAFC Designated Player was removed in the 58th minute in favor of the more defensive Edson Álvarez, but not before Vela marked Germany's Toni Kroos out of much of the match.
The 1-0 win puts Mexico atop Group F, with Sweden and South Korea set to start group play on Monday. Vela and El Tri take on South Korea in matchday 2 on June 23.