The world number one slain by the team ranked 57th in the world. 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. South Korea achieved that victory thanks to two late goals, both of which were celebrated as if they had qualified themselves.
Germany, the four-time winners crashed out in embarrassing fashion – conceding twice in injury time, even as they struggled to score the goal which would have sent them through.
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.
And the German fans must be muttering against this new VAR system! In an enthralling end to the match, Kim Young-gwon’s 92nd-minute goal – was initially ruled out for offside. But after a video replay, the goal was awarded thanks to a video assistant referee decision – left Germany on the brink of elimination. 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, goalkeeper Neuer joined the attack.
Worse was to come for Germany, when appearing increasingly desperate, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer lost possession in the opponents’ half. South Korea’s Ju Se-jong launched it forward where Son Heung-min tapped into an empty net to score the second. Jubilant celebrations among the Asian side, even though their elimination from the World Cup had already been confirmed.
Understandably, the South Korean fans were way over the moon! Jubilant celebrations from the South Koreans, while some Germany fans inside the stadium were left in tears four years after watching their national team lift the FIFA World Cup trophy in Rio; a competition in which they beat the hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals.
South Korea’s goalkeeper Cho Hyeon-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.
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.