Woeful Holders Germany Bow Out

Germany became the fourth reigning World Cup holders in five tournaments to exit at the group stage as they were humbled 2-0 by South Korea.

Again lacking in energy and seemingly playing without a Plan A let alone a B or a C, they huffed and puffed despite knowing that a victory would be enough to go through with Mexico behind to Sweden in the other final pool match.

South Korea looked dangerous on the break and for once VAR was used correctly in the second minute of stoppage-time, spotting Toni Kroos inadvertedly getting the final touch to play in Kim Young-gwon, who had initially wrongly been flagged offside.

With Germany still believing they could turn the result around goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was well out of his goal minutes later, when Son Heung-min raced away to seal matters.

It meant Germany were out, the first time since 1938 they had not advanced beyond the first section of the tournament, with Joachim Low’s side finishing bottom of Group F from which Sweden finished top and Mexico second.

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