Germany and Korea Republic eliminated
Historic win for the Taeguk Warriors
Korea Republic's historic 2-0 win over Germany in Kazan may not have been enough for the Taeguk Warriors to progress to the Round of 16 from Group F, but it will nevertheless go down as a result for the ages as the reigning champions were also eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ at the first hurdle.
The pattern of the first half was as expected, with Germany trying to set the tempo and the South Koreans looking to hit them on the break. However, neither team seriously threatened to score and the only dangerous chance was from a swerving Koo Jacheol free-kick that caused Manuel Neuer some difficulty, but the goalkeeper managed to block it and then flick the ball away just in time before Son Heungmin could get to the rebound.
Die Nationalmannschaft had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock at the start of the second period but Leon Goretzka's header was brilliantly saved by Jo Hyeonwoo. Timo Werner went close shortly after that following excellent interplay between Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus, as Germany started to push forward with greater purpose. That left the east Asians with room to exploit on the counter-attack, but they were unable to take advantage due to wayward final balls. However, ultimately it was a defender, Kim Younggwon, who scored to pave the way for the South Koreans' historic triumph, before Son sealed the victory with a late second.
KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 27: Timo Werner of Germany reacts 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 Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )
KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 27: Thomas Mueller of Germany looks dejected following his sides defeat in 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 Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )
Team Reporter Analysis Hounche Chung, Korea Republic [Follow on: Twitter | Facebook] Germany dominated this clash between holders and underdogs, but Korea Republic prevailed by showing their defining characteristics: passion and determination. And although they squandered a number of promising chances, the AFC side still came away with what will surely be an unforgettable victory.
Steffen Potter, Germany [Follow on: Twitter | Facebook] Germany's elimination means the respective defending champions have been knocked out at the group stage for a third consecutive World Cup. The loss of form from a number of key players coupled with the lack of a cutting edge in front of goal are the most immediately apparent reasons for their failure to progress, as although Germany controlled possession in each of their three outings, there was not enough creativity or composure on the ball.
Budweiser Man of the Match Jo Hyeonwoo kept a clean sheet here thanks to numerous reflex saves, laying the foundation for his side's historic win.
The stat 1 – The reigning champions and top-ranked team in the world have been eliminated.
What's next? Both teams have been knocked out.