Forgot your password?



Back to login

Germany out of tournament after losing to South Korea
June 28, 2018, 12:19 am
Share/Bookmark

Defending champions Germany have been eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage following defeat by South Korea, in one of the biggest shocks in the competition's history.

The four-time winners crashed out in ignominious fashion - conceding twice in injury time as they pressed for the goal which would have sent them through.

In an astonishing and enthralling end to the match, Kim Young-gwon's 92nd-minute goal - which was initially ruled out for offside before being awarded after a video assistant referee decision - left Germany on the brink of elimination.

Worse was to come for the world's number one ranked side, however, when deep into stoppage time and appearing increasingly desperate, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer lost possession in the opponents' half. Ju Se-jong launched it forward where Son Heung-min tapped into an empty net to score the second.

That prompted jubilant celebrations from the South Koreans, while some Germany fans inside the shocked stadium were left in tears four years after watching their national team lift the trophy in Rio; a competition in which they beat the hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals.

It is the first time since 1938 that West Germany or the unified Germany team has not advanced beyond the first stage of the tournament - Joachim Low's side finishing bottom of Group F in this edition.

Wednesday's defeat followed their opening loss against Mexico, while it took a dramatic late winner from Toni Kroos to earn them their only points of the group stage against eventual group winners Sweden.

Manager Low, who led Germany to World Cup glory four years ago, will face strong questions over his selections both before and during this tournament.

He left Manchester City forward Leroy Sane out of his squad, despite the 22-year-old playing a major role in helping City win the Premier League title, while Mario Gotze, who scored the winner in the 2014 final against Argentina, also missed out.

Against South Korea, Low made five changes, including recalling Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and dropping Thomas Muller, although the Gunners' midfielder could not inspire his side to victory. Low has been in charge of Germany since 2006, taking them to the final of the 2008 European Championships where they lost to Spain and then that subsequent World Cup glory.

The future of some of Low's key players is also in doubt after this shock loss. Neuer is 32, Sami Khedira is 31 and both Ozil and Marco Reus are 29, meaning this may have been their final match at a World Cup finals.

Low insisted that German football still had a bright future despite this failure. He said: "Do I think this will bring about a dark time in German football? No, I don't think so.

With Sweden winning 3-0 against Mexico in the other Group F game, and it being goalless in Kazan, Germany knew they had to score in a frantic finish.

A win for Germany would have edged Mexico out on goal difference - but the drama came at the other end as Kim put the ball into the net, although it was initially ruled out for offside.

However, the VAR review showed the ball had deflected into Kim's path off of a German player - Kroos - and the goal was given.

With Germany desperately looking for a goal to get back in the match, Neuer joined the attack. But he was caught out as a long ball left Tottenham forward Son with the simple task of walking the ball into the net to spark jubilant celebrations among the Asian side, even though their elimination had already been confirmed.

The Germans will regret their wastefulness in front of goal when the game was goalless. South Korea's goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo made a fine one-handed save from Leon Goretzka's header and Timo Werner volleyed wide from near the penalty spot.

Mats Hummels headed over the top when unmarked six yards out in the closing stages, before South Korea's two late goals.

It means Germany's hopes of becoming the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil's victories in 1958 and 1962 ended in embarrassing fashion.

South Korea out, but still celebrate a memorable win

South Korea went into the match with no points from their opening two games after losing 1-0 to Sweden and 2-1 to Mexico.

However, they had a mathematical chance of qualifying for the last 16 for only the third time in 10 competition appearances, although they needed Mexico to beat Sweden.

South Korea had the first chance when Jung Woo-young's free-kick was fumbled by Neuer, who punched clear bravely as Son tried to convert the rebound.

The Tottenham forward also lashed a volley wide when it was goalless, before being booked in the second half as referee Mark Geiger thought he had dived in an attempt to win a penalty.

Even though the score in Ekaterinburg ended South Korea's hopes of going through, they still sensed a memorable win over Germany.

The team ranked 57th in the world achieved that victory thanks to the two late goals, both of which were celebrated as if they had qualified themselves.

Man of the match - Son Heung-min (South Korea)

Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min was instrumental in most of South Korea's best moments. He had five shots on goal, scored once, had an 88.9% passing accuracy, made three crosses and one clearance.

Reigning champions go home early yet again

  • Germany are the fourth defending champions to be eliminated from the Group Stage at the World Cup in the last five tournaments (also France 2002, Italy 2010, Spain 2014).
  • This is only the second time that Germany have been eliminated from the first round at the World Cup having last done so in 1938 - however, this is the first time it has happened when the first round has been in a group stage format.
  • South Korea have been eliminated from the group stage at consecutive World Cup tournaments for the first time since they failed to progress from this stage in each of their first five appearances at the World Cup (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994 & 1998).
  • Germany's tally of two goals scored at this World Cup is the second fewest managed by a defending champion in the competition, only ahead of France's zero in 2002.
  • This was Germany's first ever defeat against an Asian nation in a World Cup match in what was their sixth such match.
  • Germany have failed to score in two of their three World Cup games in 2018, as many as their previous 15 World Cup matches combined.
  • This was South Korea's first clean sheet at the World Cup since a 2-0 win over Greece in 2010; they had gone eight without a shutout before this match.
  • South Korea have beaten Germany in a World Cup match for the first time, having lost each of the previous two meetings in the competition.
  • Son Heung-min's goal for South Korea (95:52) was the latest goal Germany have ever conceded in a World Cup match (excluding extra-time).
  • Since the 2010 edition, Germany have lost both of their World Cup matches in which Thomas Muller has not started (also lost 0-1 to Spain in the 2010 semi-final), compared to 80% when he has started (12 wins in 15 games).
Share your views
CAPTCHA
 

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

"Envy comes from wanting something that isn't yours. But grief comes from losing something you've already had."

Photo Gallery