Monday, 23 July, 2018

South Korea ends World Cup campaign with mixed feelings

Germany's Toni Kroos celebrates his winner against Sweden Toni Kroos has kept Germany's World Cup dream alive
Sergio Cook | 01 July, 2018, 10:25

South Korea blanked defending champions Germany 2-0 in their final Group F match at Kazan Arena in Kazan, some 800 kilometers east of Moscow.

Long the benchmark of excellence in the sport, Germany's dismal campaign ended meekly, with stoppage-time goals by Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min condemning Joachim Loew's side to finishing bottom of their group. It did its part by beating Germany, but Sweden's 3-0 victory over Mexico allowed the Swedes to win the group ahead of the second-place Mexicans.

The four-time winners had never finished outside of the top seven since their last first-round exit back in 1938, but they have fallen in Group F to break 80 years of nearly constant success.

KAZAN, Russia-The tears flowed on both sides of the field after South Korea beat Germany at the World Cup.

KAZAN, Russia Everyone was waiting for Germany to score another late World Cup-saving goal.

"Today we played really, really badly so therefore we didn't deserve to make it to the next round".

When the going got tough on this occasion, he and Germany failed on the world stage, any sense of euphoria embarrassingly vanishing.

"We didn't deserve to win the title again, we didn't deserve to make the last 16".

Live updates of the final group F clash between Germany and South Korea. "We need to congratulate our opponents", an apologetic Loew, who has overseen a golden era in German football since 2006, told reporters.

That's when South Korea stepped up. Originally called out for offside, the goal was given after video review. We had our chances and kept on playing all the time but it just didn't work. Suele made his first World Cup appearance as a replacement for Jerome Boateng.

After failing to find a way past superb Korea 'keeper Jo Hyeonwoo in the second half, Germany could only look on in shock as United States referee Mark Geiger called for the video assistant referee to intervene after the unmarked Kim Younggwon had bundled his shot past Neuer from a corner early in stoppage time.

Germany: Neuer Kimmich, Hummels, Sula, Hector (Brandt, 78) - Khedira (Gomez 59), Schweinsteiger - Reus, Ozil, Goretzka (Muller, 62) - Werner.

South Korea, also eliminated, had the best early chance of the game when Germany keeper Manuel Neuer spilled a free kick in the 19th minute but managed to recover quickly and slap the ball away.

The Asians, however, were also unsafe on the counter-attack and a couple of times carved opportunities to keep Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on his toes.

"South Korea has players who can execute fast breaks, we will try to adapt", Loew said.

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