Germany crashes out of World Cup as South Korea stuns title holders
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World Cup 2018

Germany crashes out of World Cup as South Korea stuns title holders

2014 winners fail to advance to last 16 for first time since 1938 after a wasted series of chances and conceding 2 goals in stoppage time

  • From right, Germany's Thomas Mueller, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Mario Gomez walk on the pitch at the end of the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
    From right, Germany's Thomas Mueller, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Mario Gomez walk on the pitch at the end of the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • South Korean players celebrate after referee Mark Geiger from the US decided on goal after a VAR review during the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
    South Korean players celebrate after referee Mark Geiger from the US decided on goal after a VAR review during the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
  • Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Commerzbank Arena stadium in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Andreas Arnold)
    Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Commerzbank Arena stadium in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Andreas Arnold)
  • Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Bernd von Jutrczenka)
    Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Bernd von Jutrczenka)
  • Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)
    Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)
  • Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)
    Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)
  • Fan wave German flags as they wait for the start of the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
    Fan wave German flags as they wait for the start of the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)

RUSSIA (AFP) — Germany crashed out of the World Cup on Wednesday after a stoppage-time VAR-assisted goal from Younggwon Kim and a late second by Son Heungmin earned South Korea a famous 2-0 win.

The Germans needed to beat Korea by two clear goals in their final group F match at Kazan stadium to advance to the last 16.

But Joachim Loew’s men wasted a series of chances in a tense match that saw a pale version of the world champions become the fourth holders of the title this century to be sent packing at the first hurdle.

Germany’s team of superstars could only look on in shock in the final minutes of the match as US referee Mark Geiger called for the video assistant referee to intervene after the unmarked Kim had bundled his shot past Germany keeper Manuel Neuer from a corner early in stoppage time.

The goal was awarded because Toni Kroos’s touch had played him onside, and minutes later Germany were 2-0 down after Neuer ran up the pitch in a desperate attempt to get a goal.

South Korean players celebrate after referee Mark Geiger from the US decided on goal after a VAR review during the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

A long punt upfield saw Tottenham forward Son chase a clearance to fire into an empty net.

It means Germany, the four-time champions who had competed in the past 16 editions of the World Cup, fail to make it past the first hurdle of the tournament for the first time since 1938.

From right, Germany’s Thomas Mueller, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Mario Gomez walk on the pitch at the end of the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Germany coach Joachim Loew caused a surprise by leaving midfield attacking stalwart Thomas Mueller on the bench for the first time since 2012 after his underwhelming displays against Mexico and Sweden.

But by the end of a frustrating opening half, Loew was left desperately studying his options.

Germany suffered the first of several scares after South Korea won a free kick on the quarter hour when Sami Khedira’s boot connected with the head of Jung Wooyoung.

Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)

From 30 yards out, it should have been fodder for World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but after fumbling Jung’s dipping drive Neuer scrambled desperately to clear as Son raced to pounce.

Germany spurned a series of chances soon afterwards.

Marco Reus, who hit a crucial leveler in the 2-1 win over Sweden, saw his drive deflected and Mesut Ozil saw his effort deflected off a Korean boot and out for a corner, after which goalkeeper Hyeonwoo Jo smothered desperately when Goretzka’s header found Hummels trying to pounce on the loose ball.

Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)

Germany resumed with more urgency after the interval, but despite edging closer when Loew introduced Mario Gomez just before the hour the big Stuttgart striker headed straight at Jo from Kimmich’s cross.

Striker Timo Werner then met another Kimmich ball from the left byline with a right-foot volley that skewed agonizingly wide of Jo’s upright.

Germany’s urgency was not matched by their normal efficiency and soon legs started to tire.

Loew played his final card when he introduced Mueller for Leon Goretzka.

But the late changes failed to spark Germany into life as Korea hung on for a famous win that, unfortunately for the impressive Asians, saw them bow out after Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.

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