After a shocking performance against South Korea last night, 2014 World Cup Champions Germany are going home!
Germany are the fourth defending World Cup champions to be eliminated from the Group Stage at the World Cup in the last five tournaments. German manager Joachim Löw made five controversial changes to his starting line-up, Niklas Sule partnered Hummels in defence instead of Antonio Rudiger. Sami Khedira was recalled for the injured Sebastian Rudy, Leon Goretzka replaced talisman Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil replaced Julian Draxler. The first half saw a lacklustre German side dominate possession but failed to create anything to talk about. South Koreans relentlessly pressed the German’s but no luck for them in the first half either. Germany wasted a lot of opportunities to score in both halves, but credit must go to the South Korean goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo who made some fantastic saves during the game.
In the dying minutes of the game, Germany were desperate to put one away to secure their place in the last sixteen but in the 94th minute Kim Young-gwon scored for South Korea. Initially it was disallowed for being off-side but after a VAR review which showed the ball had deflected into Kim’s path off a German player Kroos, the goal was given. This sent Germany into panic mode in stoppage time with goalkeeper Nauer pushing up the field in a last-ditch attempt for a goal. Unfortunately for Nauer, Son Heung-Min launched a counter attack which saw him streak down the German half and tap the ball into an empty net. South Korea ended the Germans dreams doing the double winning 2-0.
German fans flooded social media with scathing attacks on the players and manager Low will have some tough questions to answer especially as he signed a new four-year contract just before he left for Russia. Ultimately Germany’s performance across the Group games were not up to par, whether it was down to team selection, lack of conviction or a combination of both, it was a shocking exit from the former champions.