Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

German fans stunned by World Cup elimination

German fans stunned by World Cup elimination

At one point on Tuesday it looked as if a penalty from Chelsea wing-back Moses was going to be enough to see the Super Eagles through to the last 16 - before Argentina's late victor ended their World Cup dream in St Petersburg.

Instead, the Germans have become the fourth defending champions in the last five tournaments to be eliminated in the group stage following a 2-0 loss to South Korea on Wednesday in Kazan, Russia.

And victory over South Korea would have been enough to progress after Sweden clinched a 3-0 victory against Mexico in Nizhny Novgorod.

Ludwig Augustinsson put the Swedes ahead five minutes into the second half before Marcus Berg won a penalty and Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist, who scored the victor from the spot against South Korea, stepped up to take it.

But the 55-year-old and his team advanced to the last 16 where they will face Brazil, Switzerland or Serbia, while the Germans go home after another lame performance saw them lose 2-0 to South Korea.

"Ki Sung-yueng is a pillar of our team".

South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong did not reveal which player would captain his side against Germany, just saying the role would not be for the faint-hearted. "We will see who feels the less pressure, the less emotional".

Joachim Loew refused to single out Mesut Ozil for criticism after Germany suffered their darkest day at the World Cup. "We believed until the end today, even when it was 0-1, I think we kept trying to turn it all around". Their title defence began with a catastrophic 5-1 loss to Holland - the team they had beaten in the 2010 final - and they were out two games in when Chile defeated Vicente Del Bosque's men 2-0. Jesus Gallardo, a converted winger who signed with Monterrey before the tournament started, is at left back. "We made numerous mistakes against Mexico, fewer against Sweden, but we still lost the ball in midfield".

Coach Shin Tae-yong was realistic about the chances of his team pulling off the feat but said they would take confidence from the fact that the Germans had also made a disappointing start to their campaign in Russian Federation.

The German coach said all other players are available, including playmaker Mesut Ozil and midfielder Sami Khedira, who were dropped from the starting lineup against Sweden.

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