World title holders Germany sensationally crashed out of the first round of the World Cup. For the first time since 1938, after losing 2-0 to South Korea. VAR was used to award two injury-time goals, showing German’s the outgoing path. Joachim Low’s side went into the game needing to match or better Sweden’s result against Mexico. But they failed to break down Korea’s resistance and were undone at the last. A goal in the 92nd minute ensured Germany is out. Another strike in the 96th minute rubbed the salt on German wound. Some match highlights have been discussed here.
Dumped by Korea
Just as they did against Sweden, Germany emerged for the second half looking fired up. Korea matched Germany’s physicality as strong challenges punctuated the first 10 minutes and they almost took the lead when Manuel Neuer spilt Jung Woo-young’s swerving 25-yard free-kick. But the Bayern Munich goalkeeper managed to punch the ball out for a corner before anyone could pounce on the rebound. Two minutes into second-half stoppage time, Son’s corner reached Kim at the far post and the offside decision that followed the defender burying the ball in the net was overruled by a VAR decision. Low’s side briefly rallied for an equaliser, but their legs were gone and when substitute Ju Se-jong hit a long ball forward to Son, the Tottenham man was able to run in behind Neuer and rub salt in Germany’s wounds with the easiest of finishes.
Korea, with nothing to play for but pride, gave everything they had in hot conditions in Kazan. They got their reward in stoppage time when Kim struck from close range. Overturning of an offside decision by VAR was followed by Son racing clear of the German defence. Whether Germany’s failure spells the end of Low’s glorious era in charge of the national team remains to be seen, but he will certainly face questions as to why his side was so desperately lacking in cohesion in Russia and urgency when the stakes were so high. Thomas Muller was absent from Germany’s starting lineup for the first time in a World Cup game since their semi-final defeat to Spain in 2010. With Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka taking his place alongside Ozil.
The results of yesterday once again proved that champions have a tough time. With competitions coming from all the teams equally alike, this is probably the best ever world cup. Earlier, Argentina faced ousted in their faces and Germany are brought down to ground this time. With Knockout to start from 30th, the game is getting intense.