Omar Bravo hit two goals to give Mexico a 3-1 win over Iran in their World Cup Group D opener at the Frankenstadion on Sunday.
Iran were the livelier team at the start and came close to scoring in the 12th minute when Ali Karimi crossed to Vahid Hashemian and his downward header forced a sharp low save from goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.
Sanchez had only rejoined the team a day earlier after flying back to Mexico last week for his father's funeral.
Iran levelled after 36 minutes when Mehdi Mahdavikia's corner caused havoc and defender Yahya Golmohammadi slammed in the loose ball.
Mexico coach Ricardo Lavolpe brought on midfielder Zinha at halftime in place of striker Guillermo Franco to give Jared Borgetti more space up front.
Borgetti, however, limped off seven minutes later.
Mexico gained control of the midfield, pushing for a second goal, but a packed Iranian defence gave keeper Ebrahim Mirzapour little to do.
Even striker Ali Daei, 37, who became his country's oldest World Cup player, often had to move back to help out.
Mexico finally broke through when Zinha pounced on a mix-up in the defence in the 76th minute to feed Bravo for his second goal of the game.
Zinha made sure of victory with a thumping header from a cross by Mario Mendez in the 79th minute.