World Cup 2014 Champions Germany crash out of the group stage

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 27: Manuel Neuer of Germany Niklas Suele of Germany Jaesung Lee of Republic Korea during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)

South Korea inflicted defeat on Germany in the final game of Group F for the biggest shock of the World Cup so far. This loss means Germany crash out of the World Cup at the group stages for the first time since 1934. This also marks the third consecutive World Cup in which the holders have gone out at the group – with Italy and Spain doing so in South Africa & Brazil respectively.

Germany crash out

South Korea had lost both matches prior to the fixture against Germany. In the match against Mexico, Son Heung-min managed to grab a last-minute goal. Despite that effort, it was too late to salvage anything. In the tunnel, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was pictured comforting the visibly upset striker. Even though Shin Tae-yong’s men did not get any point from their first two group matches, it remained possible for the Asians to advance. If they could beat Germany by more than two goals and Mexico get all three points against Sweden, South Korea would advance. However, that was not meant to be for both sides. Germany eventually crashed out too.

Joachim Low’s men have also suffered a huge dip in form. Following their surprise defeat in the hands of the Mexicans, Germany came from behind, to beat Sweden. It was not an extremely convincing win for the Germans who conceded first. Toni Kroos scored the winner in injury time to give his side the victory. However, centre-back Jerome Boateng will miss the match after receiving a red. Additionally, Mesut Ozil, who had been criticized by fans, was restored to the starting eleven. Throughout the match, they tested Cho Hyun Woo, the keeper. Yet, until the final whistle was blown, the Germans could not find their way.

South Koreans unable to keep the ball

The Asians had been awful in terms of keeping possession. As soon as the players received the ball, their opponents would corner and force them to make a misplaced pass. The first time the team troubled Manuel Neuer was in the 18th minute of the game. The German first-choice keeper was unable to hold onto the powerful free-kick delivered into his hands and Son nearly broke the deadlock. Luckily for the Bayern Munich keeper, he quickly punched it out of the pitch for a corner. Other than that few rare chances, the Taeguk Warriors often found themselves settled in their own half. They spent the majority of the time defending against the domineering 2014 title holders.

By the end of the first 25 minutes of the match, Die Mannschaft had 68% of the ball but was unable to find the net. According to Squawka, the Germans had 75% of the ball, created seven chances, and had eight shots after the first 45 minutes. This goes to show how commanding they were, yet the team was unable to score.

In the second half, the East Asians had more chances to score. However, they struggled to cross and hesitated far too long. The German defenders had the time to regain possession and using their physical strength, push the Koreans off the ball.

Germany looks nervy in terms of defence

Neuer might have won the Golden Glove Award in 2014. However, he has yet to keep a clean sheet in the match. His mistake early in the first 45 minutes nearly gave the Shin’s men the vital lead that was needed in this game. Perhaps the man, who had been out of action for the majority of the season, should not be starting in the first place. The 31-year-old looks a tad too slow in his reactions and is not confident in himself.

Besides, the goalkeeper, the mentality of the players has caused their side to be fragile when it comes to defending. While Low’s men have chosen to throw bodies forward, they leave their own half empty. That has given the Koreans plenty of room whenever they break. The Europeans are simply not getting back into their positions and help out in defending. The situation has not changed since Mexico’s match where the team displayed similar problems.

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