World Cup Daily: Shock as South Korea knocks out Germany

Author
Jason Pine,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Thursday, 28 June 2018, 10:25AM
Fans from the two sides had very different reactions to the match. (Photo / Getty)
Fans from the two sides had very different reactions to the match. (Photo / Getty)

What happened overnight?

Germany are out.

Germany. Are. Out.

The defending champions have not only failed to make the second round for the first time since 1938, they've finished bottom of their group after a 2-0 loss to South Korea with both goals coming in injury time.

Sweden topped the group after an emphatic 3-0 win over Mexico who also advance as runner-up.

Five-time champions Brazil completed an unbeaten Group E campaign, easing past Serbia 2-0, while Switzerland's 2-2 draw with Costa Rica also saw them progress undefeated to the knockout stages.

Heroes

South Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo was superhuman between the sticks, pulling of a string of stunning saves to deny the German juggernaut.

His famous reflexes, agility and shot-stopping prowess were all on full display as he repelled everything fired his way to record the first clean sheet by his country in their last nine World Cup games.

“I've never had a perfect game like this before, all my career,” he said afterwards.

Villains

Germany have built a reputation on always getting the job done. Always. But not this time.

Joachim Löw's men were spectacularly unable to recreate past glories and were dumped out of the tournament, having been almost completely devoid of the verve and cohesion which saw them lift the trophy four years ago.

There'll be equal parts amazement and delight around the footballing world at the exit of the defending champions, while back in Germany, emotions will range from anger to utter disbelief.

Imagine the All Blacks not getting out of their pool at the Rugby World Cup. That's how German football fans are feeling today.

Stat chat

Before today, Germany had reached the quarterfinals or better at 16 consecutive World Cups, last missing out in 1950, when Germany was banned.

Mexico and Brazil are the only nations to reach the knockout stages at the last seven World Cups. Mexico have lost all of their round-of-16 matches in that streak.

21 percent (20 of 96) of the goals scored after the 90th minute in World Cup history have been scored at this tournament.

There have now been eight own-goals at Russia 2018, more than any other World Cup.

Mexican defender Jesus Gallardo was shown a yellow card after just 15 seconds today, the quickest ever flashed in World Cup history.

Costa Rica's goals against Switzerland mean every one of the 32 teams scored at the 2018 World Cup.

They said what?

Joachim Low, Germany coach: “We didn’t deserve to be winning the World Cup once again, we didn’t deserve to move into the Round of 16. Do I think this will bring about a dark time in German football? No, I don’t think so. I think we have young players who are very talented, and some have the potential to go forward.”

Leon Osman, former Everton midfielder, now pundit : “I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this World Cup, the drama of it, the unpredictability. The change in momentum and scorelines is fantastic. It's probably the best World Cup I can remember.”

Gary Lineker, former England international, now pundit: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans no longer always win. Previous version is confined to history.”

Did you know?

This is the fourth time in the last five World Cups the defending champion has failed to make it past the group stages.

Germany join Spain in 2014, Italy in 2010 and France in 2002 in this ignominious group.

Only Brazil have escaped this fate in the last five tournaments, making the quarter-finals in 2006 after winning in 2002.

Germany's two goals at this World Cup are the second fewest managed by a defending champion in the competition, only ahead of France's zero in 2002.

The playoff picture

Sunday: 2am France vs. Argentina, 6am Uruguay vs. Portugal

Monday: 2am Spain vs. Russia, 6am Denmark vs. Croatia

Tuesday: 2am Brazil vs. Mexico, 6am 1G vs. 2H

Wednesday: 2am Sweden vs. Switzerland, 6am 1H vs. 2G

What’s next?

The final four group games are played tomorrow morning.

In Group H at 2am, Japan and Senegal will advance if they avoid defeat against already eliminated Poland and Colombia respectively, but Colombia will progress if they beat Senegal or if they draw and Japan lose.

At 6am, it’s a straight shootout for top spot in Group G between Belgium and England with both already confirmed in the round of 16. Tunisia and Panama play only for pride.

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