#Russia2018

In Pictures: VARsprung durch South Korea – Germany sent packing

By AFP 27 June 2018

Son Heung-min (R) of South Korea reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

Holders Germany crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage on Wednesday as Sweden and Mexico qualified on a day of incredible drama in Russia.

Stay up to date with all the latest news from Russia with Daily Maverick‘s dedicated World Cup 2018 section.  

Read our guide to group scenarios and an explanation of tie-breakers here.

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.

Joshua Kimmich of Germany (L) and Go Yo-han of South Korea in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO E
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Germany (R) saves the ball ahead of Son Heung-min of South Korea in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/DIEGO AZUBEL
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Germany in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/DIEGO AZUBEL
Goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo of South Korea in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

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.

Mario Gomez of Germany reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT
Players of South Korea celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT
Lee Jae-sung of South Korea (bottom) and goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu of South Korea celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
Goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo of South Korea reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

The goal was awarded because Toni Kroos’ 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.

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 since 1938.

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.

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 leveller 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.

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 byeline with a right-foot volley that skewed agonisingly wide of Jo’s upright.

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

Players of South Korea celebrate after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
South Korea’s head coach Shin Tae-yong (top) and Lee Jae-sung of South Korea react after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Germany in Kazan, Russia, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
German fans react after their national team lost the FIFA World Cup 2018 match against South Korea at the public viewing area in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 27 June 2018. EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER

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. DM

 Extended match highlights are available on Fifa’s YouTube channel.

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