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Reigning champions Germany out of World Cup after loss to Korea Republic

Germany 0
Korea Republic 2 (Y Kim 92’, H Son 96’)

By Tim Warren

Germany’s World Cup defence is over after a 2-0 loss to Korea Republic in Kazan produced their worst World Cup performance of all-time.

In a night of broken records, this is the first time in its decorated history that Die Mannschaft has been eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup, and the first time that Germany has lost two group stage matches.

Germany’s loss also continues the trend of reigning World Cup champions being eliminated out of the group stage when defending their title, following Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014.

Germany went into the Group F match knowing that a win would secure a place in the round-of-16 along with Mexico which had already qualified for the knockout stages.

Germany dominated a tense first half with 71 per cent possession and six shots on goal but the score remained 0-0 at the break.

Meanwhile, in the other Group F match being played at the same time, Sweden had taken a 1-0 lead over Mexico early in the second half.

If that scoreline remained the same, nothing but a victory for Germany would see them progress to the next round, while Korea Republic had no chance of qualifying but could still influence the group standings.

Germany continued to create opportunities but could not find the vital goal. Their chance looked to have arrived four minutes from time when Mats Hummels had a guilt-edged chance inside the six-yard box but he put his header wide.

The stalemate was eventually broken in the second minute of injury time and it was Korea Republic that sounded the beginning of the end for Germany.

The Germans failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Kim Young-Gwon at the back-post who slotted it into the roof of the net.

There was more drama when VAR was called on to check whether Kim was offside but in a game of fine margins, the review found that the goal should stand because the ball brushed the legs of German defender Niklas Sule to play the Korea Republic defender onside.

There were still another four minutes to be played and Germany threw men forward including ‘sweeper keeper’ Manuel Neuer.

But he was caught in possession on the edge of the opposing box, 70 metres from his own goal, and the Koreans booted the ball downfield where Son Hueng-min was able to tap-in to an empty net.

Meanwhile, Sweden had gone on to beat Mexico 3-0, and after a final matchday of upsets, the Scandinavians finished the group on top.

Sweden will play Switzerland, the Group E runner-up, in the round-of-16. And despite its heavy 3-0 loss, Mexico finished second and will meet Group E winner Brazil in the next round.

For pre-tournament favourite, Germany, its World Cup defence from Brazil 2014 is now over. They finished last in Group F with just one win, two losses, and a goal difference of -2.

Match Statistics

Korea Republic: 30%
Germany: 70%

Shots (On Target)
Korea Republic: 11 (5)
Germany: 26 (6)

Korea Republic: 3
Germany: 9

Korea Republic: 16
Germany: 7

Yellow Cards
Korea Republic: 4 (W Jung 9’, J Lee 23’, M Moon 48’, H M Son 65’)
Germany: 0

Team Line-ups

Korea Republic (4-4-2): 23. W Jo (GK), 2. Y Lee, 5. Y Jun, 14. C Hong, 19. G Kim, 20. S Jang, 13. J Koo (56’), 15. W Jung, 17. S Lee, 18. M Moon (69’), 7. H M Son (C)
Substitutes: 1. S Kim, 21. J Kim, 3. S Jung, 4. B Oh, 6. J Park, 8. S Ju (69’), 9. S Kim, 10. S Lee, 11. H Hwang (56’ – 79’), 12. M Kim, 16. S Ki, 22. Y Go (79’)

Germany (4-2-3-1): 1. Neuer (C) (GK), 3. Hector (78’), 5. Hummels, 15. Sule ,18. Kimmich, 6. Khedira (58’), 8. Kroos, 10. Ozil, 14. Goretzka (63’), 9. Werner, 11. Reus
Substitutes: 12. Trapp, 22. Ter Stegen, 2. Plattenhardt, 4. Ginter, 7. Draxler, 13. Mueller (63’), 16. Ruediger, 19. Rudy, 20. Brandt (78’), 21. Guendogan, 23. Gomez (58’)

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