Germany head coach Joachim Löw watched his side fall at the first hurdle in their title defence at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. - © © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein
Germany head coach Joachim Löw watched his side fall at the first hurdle in their title defence at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. - © © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein

Germany at the 2018 World Cup: All you need to know


After cruising through qualifying, Germany crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia at the group stages, falling at the first hurdle of their title defence. recaps how Germany's World Cup campaign unfolded.

Final 23-man squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (PSG)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern), Matthias Ginter (Gladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Niklas Süle (Bayern)

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (PSG), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Ilkay Gündogan (Man City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Thomas Müller (Bayern), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Timo Werner (Leipzig)

Quiz: Who would YOU start if you were Joachim Löw?

- © imago / Agencia EFE

Germany at the FIFA World Cup in Russia

- © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein

How they got there

World champions Germany qualified for the finals in fine style, with a perfect 10 wins from 10 in UEFA qualifying Group C, becoming just the second team in history to manage that feat after Spain in 2010. No fewer than 21 players found the target in a serene campaign in which Die Mannschaft scored some 43 goals, with Bayern Munich duo Thomas Müller and Sandro Wagner heading the charts on five apiece.

- © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein


Pre-tournament friendlies

Austria 2-1 Germany
Germany 2-1 Saudi Arabia

FIFA 2018 World Cup Group F

Germany 0-1 Mexico

Goals: 0-1 Lozano (35')

Meeting for only the second time at a FIFA World Cup, the teams produced an electric opening in Moscow. El Tri had only managed one win in 13 previous games against the holders, but they plotted a course for a second when Lozano took advantage of some sloppy German play before slamming home at the near post. Löw's side failed to convert second half chances and began a World Cup campaign with defeat for the first time since 1982.

Marco Reus (l.) made his first World Cup appearance coming on from the bench against Eintracht Frankfurt's Carlos Salcdeo (r.).

Germany 2-1 Sweden

Goals: 0-1 Toivonen (32'), 1-1 Reus (48'), 2-1 Kroos (90+5') 
Red cards: Boateng (82')

On a steamy night in Sochi, it looked for all the world as if Germany's defence would come to an anticlimactic end. The holders fell behind in the first half when Ola Toivonen dinked expertly over Neuer, but Reus levelled proceedings early in the second period. Boateng was dismissed in the closing stages, but Germany kept pushing and Kroos curled in an outrageous free-kick in the 95th minute to win the game.

Toni Kroos and Marco Reus (r.) were on target as Germany came from behind to beat Sweden against all the odds in Sochi.

South Korea 2-0 Germany

Goals: 1-0 Kim (90+2'), 2-0 Son (90+6')

Knowing a two-goal win would take them into the last 16, Germany began brightly in Kazan but failed to fashion any clear-cut chances prior to going into the interval goalless. The world champions ramped up the pressure in the second period, but South Korea - themslelves needing a win to have any chance of progression - sat deep and hit on the counter, Kim steering home from close range in additional time before Son scored on the counter with the last kick of the game to end the holders' defence at the first hurdle.

Mario Gomez (l.) and Mats Hummels react after Germany spurn another chance in the 2-0 defeat to South Korea.

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