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Korea Dumps Germany Out of FIFA 2018


Korea Dumps Germany Out of FIFA 2018

Korea Republic 2-0 Germany

Two injury-time goals from Kim Young-Gwon and Son Heung-Min stunned Germany to see the reigning champions go out at the group stages for the first time since 1938.

Joachim Low’s World Champions needed to do better than Sweden in their rivals’ game against Mexico, while only a win would give Korea a chance to progress.

Toni Kroos’ brilliant late winner against Sweden had saved the German campaign, and they started the game as third favourites to win FIFA 2018, behind Brazil and Spain, with SBOBET odds at 8.00.

This was a massive game for Germany, and one which the nation pinned its hopes on. Back home, only 30 per cent of workers were expected to stick to their tasks while everybody else nipped off to watch the afternoon kick-off!

Germany fans have never experienced such worry so early in a tournament before. And now, they have never experienced such despair.

Korea coach Shin Tae-Yong knew what a big task his team was about to face, but Germany haven’t been all that impressive so far in Russia. A David-vs-Goliath outcome was by no means out of the question.

Highlights of the game

It was a bright start with both teams still in the fight: Germany passed the ball around neatly while Korea looked for opportunities to exploit their pace and to break quickly.

Korea’s most talented and dangerous player, Son Heung-Min, took his team’s poor performance in the opening game against Sweden to heart, and vowed to inspire them on to greater things. He almost did against Mexico, scoring after having eight shots in a 2-1 defeat. And the Spurs man was so, so close to putting Korea ahead, on 19 minutes, when Manuel Neuer, usually so reliable, spilled a free-kick from Jung and just managed to scramble the ball away as Son prepared slam home the opener.

Germany’s best chance of the first half came when Timo Werner broke forward, but his shot was deflected out for a corner. And from the resulting dead-ball kick, there was quite a scramble in the Korea goalmouth, but Mats Hummels saw his shot smothered by goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-Woo.

Werner then hammered a fierce shot against the post, but the whistle had already gone for a foul by Jonas Hector.

FIFA 2018 updates came through and the big news, early in the second half, was that Sweden had gone ahead, which all meant Germany had to score or they were out. And a great chance came on 51 minutes after good work from Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil, before the Arsenal man swung the ball over only for Werner to volley wide.

The pressure was well and truly on Germany now and their play looked nervous. And to make matters worse, more bad news came in from Ekaterinburg where Sweden had gone two up.

As Germany laboured, Korea tried to cut them open on the counter-attack. However, the German defence stood firm. And they got away with one when Son was bundled over in the box by Reus, but the referee bizarrely booked the Spurs man for diving.

Son weaved his way into the box again before being stopped by Hummels and Germany looked rattled. Mario Gomez tried to settle their nerves by heading powerfully at goal, but Jo saved comfortably.

Meanwhile, Sweden had all but confirmed their qualification by going 3-0 up against Mexico. Germany continued to dominate the ball while Korea carried on trying to break, at one pointy three on two, but they failed to capitalise. At the other end, Joshua Kimmich attempted to create something, firing some good crosses in with no success.

Then on 86 minutes, Ozil hit an early cross to find Hummels unmarked in the box and with a great chance, but the ball hit his shoulder and flew wide. That really should have been 1-0.

The announcement that there would be six minutes of added time stunned the Koreans. But what happened next stunned the entire football world. On 92 minutes, Korea swung a corner over. Toni Kroos deflected the ball into Kim Young-Gwon’s path as the ball bounced around, and he smashed it into the net.

There were incredible scenes as the Koreans went crazy and Germany, as a nation, stood in shock. When Son broke away and ran fifty yards before sliding the ball home to make it 2-0, they were positively numb.

Key Statistics

Germany had made the knockout stages of the World Cup 16 times in a row, and Joachim Low’s team had won 15 of their last 17 competitive games.

South Korea had lost their last four World Cup games in a row, and both their previous encounters with Germany, in 1994 and 2002.

So this result was simply massive!

What’s next?

I wouldn’t like to imagine what’s next for Germany. These are unchartered waters for the reigning World Champions so it’s back to the drawing board.

We said you can never write off Germany after they got out of jail against Sweden last week, but you can now! And we’ll have to get on with our next round of FIFA 2018 predictions without them.

 

 


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Stuart Wilkin
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