Hirving Lozano’s first-half strike saw Mexico stun World Cup holders Germany at the Luzhniki Stadium in the opening match of Group F and, if Juan Carlos Osorio’s men had taken their chances, the scoreline might have been embarrassing.
Germany laid siege to a tiring Mexico’s penalty area in the final 20 minutes but could not find a way past Guillermo Ochoa, despite substitute Julian Brandt’s late strike clipping the post.
Here are five things we learned from the match:
A round-of-16 exit has been Mexico’s fate in their last six consecutive World Cup campaigns. At times the glass ceiling has been utterly agonising – a penalty shootout defeat against Bulgaria in 1994, Maxi Rodriguez’s extra-time screamer for Argentina in 2006, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s 94th-minute spot-kick winner for Netherlands four years ago – and Russia may hold similar misery in store.
This Mexico will take some stopping, though. Osorio has built a team that defends with coherence and springs forward with the fluidity of a club side, even if their decision-making in the final third was often maddening against Germany.
Finishing top of Group F is their best hope of making the last eight and, after stunning the holders in Moscow, that route looks very possible.