Germany had a humiliating first round exit from World Cup in 80 years on Wednesday when two late goals by South Korea sealed their fate.
They finished bottom of Group F with just 3 points while Sweden and Mexico advanced into Round of 16. For Koreans, one of the greatest victories in their history was not enough to help them through.
After a slow and sloppy first half, Germans began an attacking game but could neither break South Korea’s wall of defence nor beat goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.
Late goals by Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min in the 93rd and 96th minutes respectively added to Germany’s misery.
South Korea almost scored in the 19th minute when German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer failed to collect a free kick cleanly. The ball bounced off him and before Son could foot it home, Neuer punched it for a corner.
Towards the dying moments of the first half, Mesut Özil connected to Timo Werner positioned on the edge of the South Korean box but the defenders foiled the move.
Germany got a golden chance in the 87th minute but Mats Hummels’ (pictured) header went over the bar.
As the game progressed into the stoppage time, Germany hoped for a miracle goal like the one scored by Toni Kroos against Sweden in the dying moments of their match.
South Korea earned a corner in the 93rd minute and Son sent a low ball which bounced off Kroos to Kim who tapped it home.
The goal was initially disallowed as Kim was flagged offside but the referee consulted the VAR and found it the ball came off Kroos.
Three minutes later, German goalkeeper moved up the pitch as his team went all out to the Korean goalmouth for the equaliser. Seeing the German half empty, Ju Se-jong sent a shot to Son who raced ahead with the ball with no one to challenge and coolly scored the second goal for his team.
German coach Joachim Löw said he needs time to decide his future after Germany’s early exit which has come as a “huge disappointment” for him.
Löw, 58, had been serving as Germany’s coach for the past 12 years. His contract was renewed until 2022 only last month.
He said Germany was rightly eliminated from the tournament. The players had many goal possibilities, but they did not score, he added.
German defender Mats Hummels told broadcaster ARD that his team lost their discipline from the 65th minute in the second half.
They went “wild” against South Korea in a desperate attempt to find a goal and keep their World Cup hopes alive. He said his team would have been happy had he scored in the 86th minute.