Korea avoid dishonorable records with win over Germany

Germany's Toni Kroos celebrates his winner against Sweden

The dejected Germans, shell-shocked after conceding the first point of the crucial match in the waning seconds of stoppage time, completely fell apart and foolishly allowed Korean star Son Heung-min to cruise through their defence and score a second goal from an open field.

The four-time winners, who had not been eliminated in a World Cup first round since 1938, were a shadow of their once dominant selves, managing only two goals in their three group games.

After defeats to Sweden and Mexico, South Korea were expected to bow out of the tournament against a Germany side who needed a win, but a major surprise occurred in Kazan.

Son doubled his side's advantage a few minutes later when Ju Se-Jong robbed Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of possession near the halfway line before launching the ball forward for his team mate to score into an empty net.

That result in Kazan, coupled with Sweden's 3-0 win over Mexico in the other group match in Ekaterinburg, meant the Swedes and Mexico progressed to the round of 16.

Germany were stunned 1-0 in their opening World Cup 2018 game against Mexico and appeared to be heading out as they trailed Sweden in their next group game.

Eighty years ago, Germany lost 4-2 in a replay against Switzerland to go out in the first round when it was a straight knockout tournament, but their 2018 exit was the first time Germany had ever failed to make it through the group stage.

Then South Korea promptly scored twice in stoppage time. Only Brazil, returning champions from 2002, made it past the group stage.

They cheered wildy when Kim Young-gwon turned in a shot home from six meters.

Despite being flagged offside initially, the goal was eventually given after VAR got involved, with the final touch before the goal actually coming off a German player.

"We need to congratulate our opponents", Loew said.

Germany's Mats Hummels heads the ball at the Korean net late in the match.

Fellow supporter Denis, who travelled nearly 3,000km (1,864 miles) from his home in Stuttgart to watch Germany take on South Korea in Kazan, was equally resigned.

"We're not going to the last 16, but we did manage to beat the champions, and the World No. 1 team", Shin said.

We are sorry for not playing like world champions, and as painful as it is, we deserve to be out.

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