Hirving Lozano Mexico Germany
Hirving Lozano is ecstatic after scoring for Mexico against defending World Cup champions GermanyMatthias Hangst/Getty Images

There have been few unconvincing performances so far by the pre-tournament favourites of the Fifa World Cup 2018. France were a little lucky to beat Australia, Spain looked beatable against Portugal, Argentina were poor against Iceland and now Germany can be added to that list, after the defending champions crashed to a defeat to Mexico in their first World Cup match since that epic night at the Maracana.

Germany came into this World Cup on the back of quite a few disappointing performances in friendlies, but you felt, "this is Germany, when it comes to the big stage, they will find a way."

Against Mexico, they just couldn't, with Joachim Low's side failing to find the cohesion and creativity in the attacking end while looking terribly open at the back, with the Latin Americans giving them a really tough time.

Indeed, a bit more composure on the counter-attacks, and it could well have been an embarrassing scoreline for Germany – not the 7-1 the Germans themselves inflicted on Brazil, but something they would have found difficult to move on from.

Most of the time, when a big team fails to show up, it's easy to say that it was because the big team did not play well, and with it forgetting the fact that maybe, it was the opposition, that didn't let them play the way they wanted to.

The latter was very much the case at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the venue of Russia's incredible performance on opening night, with Mexico just not letting Germany boss them around.

While the defending champions had the majority of the possession, Mexico did not allow them to find any sort of rhythm. They were at them any time Germany entered anywhere close to the danger area, and when Germany did manage to beat that initial pressure, there was some great last-ditch defending and outstanding goalkeeping, with Guillermo Ochoa, yet again, putting on a show on the World Cup stage.

On the attacking end, Mexico looked dangerous, seriously dangerous on the counter, with the pace and vision of Carlos Vela, Miguel Layun, Javier Hernandez and Hirving Lozano, the goalscorer, troubling the Germany defence time and again.

Had Mexico been able to make that final pass or take that final shot just that little bit better, it would have been 3-0 or 4-0 to El Tri.

Germany Mexico Hummels Kroos
Germany were just not at the races against MexicoHector Vivas/Getty Images

Of course, no match is ever won on the maybes, because there were enough of those for the Germans as well, but what was clear as day were the struggles that Low's side faced.

Maybe it was that lack of a proper goalscorer, the Miroslav Klose or the peak Thomas Muller that they missed, but the likes of Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler and Toni Kroos struggled to create enough chances as well.

Joshua Kimmich was bright down the right in attack, and awful in defence,  and you felt there just wasn't enough movement, enough running off the ball from Germany.

After going into halftime trailing by that Lozano goal, you expected Germany to start the second half with a lot more intensity, but, while they dominated the ball, that intensity, that sheer desire to score the equaliser quickly and then find a winner was missing.

Maybe it is the desire thing again, that extra something needed to defend the title, having already fulfilled a lifetime's dream.

It's happened before, and just in the last edition, when Spain lost in their opening match after heading into the World Cup as the defending champions. France were famously beaten by Senegal in 2002, while 2006 winners Italy were extremely disappointing in the 2010 World Cup.

Low needs to find that desire within these players, otherwise it could be another early exit for the defending champions of a World Cup.