Xtabella's Blog



Wednesday, 27 June 2018


Holders Germany were knocked out of the World Cup on a stunning afternoon in Group F, courtesy of a 2-0 defeat against South Korea.
The four-time winners, who lifted the trophy in 2014, had not exited a World Cup in the first round since 1938 but suffered a humiliating early exit after failing to find the crucial breakthrough. Mexico edged through at Germany's expense, despite a 3-0 defeat to Sweden, who finished top. Germany, meanwhile, finish bottom.
Germany were heading out anyway at 0-0 in injury time, but things got even worse when Kim Young-Gwon's strike was eventually given following a VAR referral. With Germany reeling -- and Manuel Neuer up field trying in vain to find a way back into the game -- South Korea made it 2-0, Son Heung-Min rolling the ball into the empty net.
There were a plethora of permutations in Group F ahead of kickoff but Germany started in Kazan knowing that a victory by two goals would be enough to progress, regardless of what happened in Mexico vs. Sweden in Yekaterinburg. But one of the favourites for the tournament came up short and have to face up to a terrible early exit.
Joachim Low made a big call before the match, dropping Thomas Muller, recalling Mesut Ozil and using a 4-2-3-1 formation that included Leon Goretzka on the right.
His men almost fell behind to a shock South Korea opener on 19 minutes -- and in bizarre fashion. Jung Woo-Young's free kick seemed harmless enough but Neuer inexplicably fumbled it, and only a quick reaction from the Germany No.1 thwarted Son Heung-Min from tucking home the rebound.
At the other end, the holders huffed and puffed but to little effect, Joshua Kimmich and Ozil's crosses coming to nothing. In truth it was turgid stuff, Timo Werner's deflected effort seven minutes before half time about as good as it got.

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