If you were still looking for a ‘second team’ to get behind at the World Cup, Mexico might just have solved that for you.
Group E was meant to be a walk in the park for Germany.
The reigning champions are usually the tournament team to beat having reached eight finals and 13 semi-finals down the years.
A defence built around Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, a midfield bossed by Toni Kroos and the attacking guile of Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller.
Yet Mexico made every single one of those elite level names look like shadows of their former selves – and captured the hearts and imaginations of millions in the process.
Because the Mexicans didn’t just beat the holders; they beat them in style.
Hirving Lozano, one of just a number of brilliantly bold attacking players on show, bagged a thoroughly deserved winner in the first half after dominating throughout.
And in truth the Mexicans could and perhaps should have won even more convincingly, squandering a host of promising positions after escaping a porous German defence.
Time after time Joshua Kimmich was exposed at right back by Mexico’s pacey forward line as they completely outplayed the Germans.
Javier Hernandez had Boateng and Hummels on toast whilst the irrepressible Hector Herrera in midfield expertly shackled Kroos from dictating the tempo.
They clung on to clinch the result of the tournament so far – and duly won over so many neutral fans with their Herculean efforts: