Germany deservedly succumbed to the fate their sluggish performances in Russia have merited by being eliminated from the 2018 World Cup at the first hurdle.
Needing a win to salvage their hopes of going through, Jogi Low’s defending champions mustered precious little and seemed content to play at half-pace as they fell to a humiliating 2-0 defeat against South Korea in their last Group F tie.
The game remained goalless until the 92nd minute, when Kim Young-Gwon pounced to leave the German’s teetering by a thread.
Korea’s goal was initially ruled out for offside but a VAR review correctly ascertained that the last touch came off Toni Kroos.
With results elsewhere also going against them, Germany were in desperate of need of something, anything.
Still, the team continued to prove themselves devoid of pace, imagination, luck, drive, movement and/or creativity, with three decent chances all falling to Mats Hummels, who sent a trio of inaccurate headers over the crossbar.
Then, with the dying seconds ticking away and Manuel Neuer pushed up into midfield, South Korea turned the ball over deep in their own half, lumped it up over the half-way line and Heung-Min Son chased it down to roll it into the abandoned German net.
And that’s exactly how it finished: 2-0 to South Korea, who were also knocked out of the tournament somewhat cruelly given their energetic, organised, passionate win over the half-arsed defending champs.
Speaking of, Germany’s tragic outing at the 2018 finals marks the fourth time the reigning winners have been knocked out of the competition at the group stage in the past five years – along with France in 2002, Italy in 2010, and Spain in 2014.
Die Current Mannschaft also suffer the ignominy of being the first Germany team to be jettisoned in the groups for some 80 years (1938). And to think, we were all raving about the German model when they won in four years ago. It’s almost like football is merely cyclical.
Given the nature of their performances this time round, being eviscerated, finishing bottom and getting shunted out of a group they should have walked is absolutely no less than they deserve.
Complete list of World Cups featuring both England & Germany where England will have played more games than Germany:
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) June 27, 2018
We wonder if the DFB regret preemptively extending Low’s contract until 2022 just two months before the tournament began?