Defending champs Germany eliminated from World Cup after 2-0 loss

REUTERS  Hannah McKay

REUTERS Hannah McKay

Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 in the other Group F game, allowing both those sides to advance to the second round. It was first ruled as offside, but following a video review, the referee concluded that South Korea just had scored their second goal of the tournament.

Tottenham forward Son Heung-min then piled on the embarrassment for the holders, scoring a late second after Manuel Neuer was caught way out of his goal.

Defeat for Sweden against Mexico could have led to Shin's side progressing beyond Group F on goal difference.

The goal, a seemingly meaningless one from South Korea's side, elicited a big reaction.

Argentina, the losing finalists in 2014, were heading for a humiliating World Cup exit before Marcos Rojo scored a stunning victor on 86 minutes to send Nigeria home.

Germany´s midfielder Toni Kroos (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Sweden at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on June 23, 2018.

But the late changes failed to spark Germany into life as Korea hung on for a famous win that, unfortunately for the impressive Asians, saw them bow out after Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.

Despite winning the first two matches of the group stage, including an impressive upset over group favorites Germany, El Tri still needed a win or a draw against Sweden to secure its spot in the knockout round.

The four-time winners came to Russian Federation as one of the favourites but became the fourth side this century to lose in the group stage after winning the previous tournament following a 2-0 defeat against unfancied South Korea.

Hardly had Germany ever looked so vulnerable in a tournament in the past decade or so, and much of it is due to the influence of Joachim Low who instils a sense of calmness and stability into the squad. A part of his aura was lost in Russian Federation, where his team never looked as good on the pitch as he did on that fateful morning jog.

They will hope the younger and fresher legs of Jung Woo-young can bring energy to the centre of midfield, but there is no way he'll be able to replicate the experience Ki has picked up over 104 caps.

On a warm and sunny afternoon at Kazan Arena, some 42,000 flabbergasted fans witnessed the fall of a titanic team who had made the semi-finals or beyond in every World Cup since 2002.

"I know South Korea have defended well and got numbers behind the ball, but still, Germany have got to do a lot more than what they're doing".

A win over Germany and Sweden's loss to Mexico would have forced three teams, except Mexico, to count tiebreakers.

Kim Young-gwon broke the deadlock in added time when he found himself alone in front of goal after a corner and poked the ball home from close range.

A third said: "Ozil was pure trash #GER he need to retire!"

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