Mexico's Rafa Marquez becomes third man to play at five World Cups

Germany had breezed through qualifying, scoring 43 goals and conceding just four and, astonishingly, they average nearly four goals a game in their opening World Cup matches since last losing their first tournament game in 1982 against Algeria. It is true that Sane has not been impressive when in German colours but this is the world cup, every footballer's dream.

The 2018 World Cup has seen a number of headline-grabbing moments. The German midfield was also very slow in dealing with the fast-paced one touch counter-attacking play of the Mexicans.

Joachim Low's side came into the tournament on a run of poor form, winning just one of their six friendlies since qualifying for Russian Federation 2018 with a 100 per cent record.

The blazing fast counterattacks launched by Mexico took Germany by surprise over and over again, and despite coming close many times, it was Hirving Lozano's 35th minute effort from close range that was enough to seal Germany's fate in Moscow.

Marco Reus was introduced on the hour as Loew sought to invigorate a struggling side, while 39-year-old Rafael Marquez became just the third player to feature at five World Cups as he was brought on the tighten Mexico's defence. Hirving Lozano will be one player to watch for Mexico in the tournament.

Youngster Julian Brandt almost saved Loew's night after taking over from Werner in the final minutes when he blasted a shot past Ochoa's right post, and even goalkeeper Neuer came up for a corner in injury time. "Our cover was often not good and we were left many times with just Jerome [Boateng] and myself at the back", centre-back Hummels said.

But given the Germans' stellar tournament record with at least a semi-final spot in each of the last four World Cups, few would risk betting against them being ready on Sunday, especially after crushing Mexico 4-1 in last year's Confederations Cup.

El Tri will take on South Korea on June 23 in their second Group F matchup, while Germany meets Sweden that same day.

Both teams had several chances before the opening goal.

Moreno got a yellow card for timewasting as half-time approached, but Germany were suddenly looking ragged, with passes going astray as they tried to make headway around the Mexico area.

  • Salvatore Jensen