SAN JOSE (CBS SF/AP) — The victory may have been in Russia, but the celebration was in high gear at San Jose’s Avaya Stadium Sunday when Mexico upset Germany 1-0 in the opening round of soccer’s World Cup.
Among the fans was Ross DaSilva who was there with his son and his father enjoying a Father’s Day morning..
“We came out as a family,” he said. “I’m here with my son and my dad. And because it’s Father’s Day, we thought it would be a great way to celebrate — to get together to watch the game.”
Meanwhile, Eric Perez and his girlfriend Manuela Gravosch found themselves cheering for opposite sides during the match. Perez was rooting of his native Mexico while Manuela was cheering for Germany.
“I’m actually quite sad and quite surprised,” she said. “I thought for sure Germany would beat Mexico because they won the last World Cup.”
Perez couldn’t help being swept up in a patriotic feavor.
“I feel like soccer is one of the things that’s able to united everyone in my home country,” he said.
Germany came into the match as the defending champion and was heavy favored to win.
But Hirving Lozano scored the lone goal in the 35th minute, picking up Javier Hernandez’s pass inside the penalty area and beating Mesut Ozil before shooting past Manuel Neuer from 10 yards.
“I don’t know if it’s the biggest victory in (Mexico’s) history, but one of the biggest for sure,” Lozano said. “It’s great to start on the right foot when you are playing the world champions.”
France in 2002 and Spain in 2014 were the other defending champions to lose their opening matches. Neither of those teams advanced from the group stage.
After Lozano’s goal, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa pulled off a spectacular save to keep the score even, palming Toni Kroos’ shot onto the crossbar.
The Germans are bidding to become the first team to retain the World Cup title since Brazil in 1962. They hadn’t lost an opening game since the then-West Germany succumbed 2-1 to Algeria in 1982.
Mexico supporters outnumbered Germany fans at the Luzhniki Stadium and made almost all of the noise, roaring their team forward.
Lozano, a 22-year-old forward from the Dutch league nicknamed “Chucky,” got Mexico going with a deflected shot over the bar in the first minute. That set the tone for Mexico to torment Germany on the counterattack, with Lozano taking full advantage of right back Joshua Kimmich’s tendency to go forward.
In his first competitive start since Sept. 16 because of injury, Neuer was kept busy saving a stinging long shot from Hector Herrera in the 10th, then a header shortly after a free kick.
Timo Werner could have scored when he picked up a ball near the penalty spot, but his shot went straight to Ochoa.
With key players tiring in the second half, Mexico pulled back and substituted both Lozano and Carlos Vela. Germany then dominated but when it broke through the Mexican defense, the shooting was poor.
Seeking defensive reinforcement, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio brought on 39-year-old veteran Rafael Marquez to play in his fifth World Cup.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Kimmich’s charging runs far up the field can be a blessing and a curse for Germany.
Lozano reveled in the space left for him on Mexico’s left flank and was a constant threat on the counterattack. Kimmich’s absence meant Ozil was left trying to stop Lozano for Mexico’s opening goal.
Germany registered 25 shots to Mexico’s 12, but many were from long range and failed to seriously test Ochoa.
Germany needs points from matches against Sweden on Saturday and South Korea on June 27 to avoid elimination.
Mexico’s next opponent is South Korea.