Germany became the third consecutive nation after Italy and Spain to follow World Cup glory with elimination in the group stage of the subsequent edition after losing 2-0 to South Korea in Kazan, a result which saw Sweden and Mexico progress from Group F.

Germany 0-2 South Korea

Goals: 1-0 Kim (90+3'), 2-0 Son (90+6')

Germany made five changes from the side which had beaten Sweden on Saturday as they sought a similar result against South Korea, but it was Heung-min Son, a familiar face to Bundesliga fans due to his formative years at Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen, who almost capitalised on a rare fumble from Germany number one Manuel Neuer with the first opportunity of the game. The Bayern Munich custodian managed to make immediate amends, though, to scramble the ball away. Son then flashed a volley wide as South Korea continued to make Germany sweat, even though Joachim Löw's men were enjoying most of the possession. They nearly transformed that into a goal late in the first half when Leon Goretzka teed up Mats Hummels who, surrounded by three red shirts, was unable to get enough power behind his shot.

Just two minutes were on the clock in the second half when Goretzka went the closest yet to opening the scoring with a header which only a remarkable one-handed save from Hyun-Woo Jo managed to keep out. Timo Werner missed the target as Germany, aware that Sweden had taken the lead in the group's other game, doubled their efforts with Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller both sent on. Julian Brandt replaced Jonas Hector for the final ten minutes as the World Cup holders struggled to maintain what was a loosening grip on their title. Rock-solid defending from Niklas Süle and Hummels thwarted Korea's attempts to score on the break, but there was a sting in the tail as Young-Gwon Kim lifted the ball in at the far post to put Korea in front and, as Neuer was sent forward for a late rally, Korea broke again to seal victory through Son.

Match stats

  • This was Germany's 19th World Cup; they had made it to at least the semi-finals at every competition since 2002.
  • This is the first time Germany have failed to get past the first round of a World Cup.
  • South Korea won the last meeting 3-1 in 2004, but Germany had previously won both World Cup encounters, including the 2002 semi-final in Seoul.
  • Son's consolation goal in the loss to Mexico ended South Korea’s 288-minute goal drought at World Cups. - he struck his second of the tournament in additional time in Kazan.
  • Brandt has hit the woodwork twice as a substitute this tournament. No other team has hit the frame of the goal more than once.


Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Hector (Brandt 78') – Khedira (Gomez 58'), Kroos – Goretzka (Müller 63'), Özil, Reus – Werner
Absentees: Boateng (suspended)
Coach: Joachim Löw

South Korea: Jo – Y. Lee, Jang, Kim, Hong – Hwang (Ko 79'), Jung, Koo (Hwang 56'), S-W. Lee – J-S. Lee (Moon 69'), Son
Absentees: Park (thigh)
Coach: Taeyong Shin

As it happened!

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