Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Mexican wall keeps Germans out!

Published:Monday | June 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Mexico's Hirving Lozano, scorer of the winner against Germany at the 2018 World Cup in Russia yesterday.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer walks past as Mexico players celebrate after defeating Germany 1-0 in their group F match at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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MOSCOW (AP):

Defending World Cup champions have been finding it hard to get out of the group stage lately, and Germany is proving no exception.

The 2014 champions, ranked No. 1 in the world, were exposed defensively and surprisingly beaten by CONCACAF representatives Mexico 1-0 yesterday, putting their hopes of advancement in doubt.

Well, not everyone is in doubt.

"We will make it," Germany coach Joachim Lˆw said. "There's no reason to fall apart because you lose one game."

Hirving Lozano scored the lone goal in the 35th minute, picking up Javier Hern·ndez's pass inside the penalty area and beating Mesut Ozil before shooting past Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from 10 yards.

The goal decided the match - a match Germany did not expect to lose.

"I don't know if it's the biggest victory in (Mexico's) history, but one of the biggest for sure," Lozano said. "My teammates and I did some great work. We all ran our hearts out. This is the result of all that hard work."

Three of the previous four defending World Cup champions failed to reach the knockout stages: France, Italy and Spain. Two lost their opening matches, while the Italians had to settle for a draw.

The Germans are bidding to become the first team to retain the World Cup title since Brazil in 1962 but have now won only one of their last seven games in all competitions. They had not lost an opening game since the then-West Germany fell 2-1 to Algeria in 1982.

Mexico had never beaten Germany in a competitive match but was transformed from the team that lost to the Germans 4-1 in last year's Confederations Cup, conceding twice in the opening eight minutes.