Wednesday 27th June 2018

South Korea 2 Germany 0

Now that makes a refreshing change. Germany knocked out in the group stage for the first time since 1938.

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In the past 16 World Cups, Germany have never failed to make it to the last eight. They came to Russia as World and Confederations Cup champions, as a nation that had industrialised youth development, that seemed to have effectively eliminated the possibility of failure. But football has a strange way of making a mockery of the most well-grounded predictions and they went home after losing to a South Korea side that had already lost to Sweden and Mexico.

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The knife, in the end, was lunged in by VAR, which showed Toni Kroos prodding back the ball that Kim Young-gwon lashed home from a late corner, overturning an offside call. And then, as though the gods had decided thoroughly to mock Germany,  Manuel Neur up field in the South Korean half was relieved of the ball and was easily beaten with a long pass to Spurs Son Heung-Min who was in his own half scored on the breakaway, as Korea knocked the defending World Cup champions out of Russia 2018.

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