Germany became the third-straight reigning World Cup champions to be knocked out of the next tournament at the group stage.
That doesn’t mean this was any less shocking than Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014, though. Perhaps the most shocking.
[ VIDEO: Germany crash out ]
In fact, the German media have already dubbed the exit as a “historic disgrace” for Germany. Pulling punches, they are not.
Die Mannschaft have never crashed out in the group stage of a World Cup and this was also the first time they’ve lost two games in a group stage, as South Korea grabbed two stoppage time goals to stun the reigning World Cup champs and current number one team on the planet.
Manager Joachim Low summed it up quite simply after the game: “We didn’t deserve to move into the Round of 16.”
Mats Hummels, who had three close-range headers in the second half alone but couldn’t convert any, had the following to say about their exit.
“It is a very bitter evening for us and for all German football fans,” Hummels said. “The situation is very difficult to put into words. We did not put the ball in the net, even though we had plenty of opportunities, including myself in the 86th minute – I have to score from chances like that. We believed in it until the very end, we tried to shoot, but we just couldn’t get the ball in. We had plenty of opportunities, we broke our necks trying out there today. We put ourselves in this situation after the Mexican game. The last game we delivered a good performance was in the autumn of 2017.”
How did this happen?
Well, Germany handed South Korea several opportunities, just like they had done to Mexico and Sweden in their other two Group F games, and eventually they were punished.
Low will no doubt be heavily criticzed for the way he set his team up, particularly in this game, as Mesut Ozil started and Germany looked uncomfortable in possession and unbalanced throughout.
Even going forward the chances didn’t fall to their strikers Timo Werner, Thomas Muller or Mario Gomez and Hummels, as he mentioned, had their four best chances of the game.
Now, the inquest will continue but Low’s future is in serious doubt as Germany exited the World Cup in embarrassing fashion and, over the course of the three games, you can’t argue with them finishing bottom of Group F.
The kings of world soccer have been dethroned at the first hurdle.