Defending World Cup champ Germany eliminated by upset loss to South Korea

Toni Kroos of Germany celebrates scoring his sides winning goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Sweden

Germany's Toni Kroos scored a stunning stoppage-time Credit Getty Images

Son Heung-min made it 2-0 in the sixth minute of injury time after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came up the field to help his teammates outside the South Korea box.

The South Koreans played aggressively in the first half and waited patiently for opportunities toward the end when the four-time champions pressed hard to score and get a victory that would have sent them through ahead of Mexico on goal difference.

This is the first time since 1938 that the team failed to make it past the group stages of the World Cup. They became the fourth champions in five World Cups to fall at the first hurdle during their title defence. "Even when it was 0-1, I think we kept trying to turn it all around". In 2002, the group failed to reach France, in 2010, the same failure had overtaken Italy, and four years ago of a place in the playoffs was not Spain. We are sorry for not playing like world champions, and as painful as it is, we deserve to be out.

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.

A 0-0 draw would have brought enough joy but with Germany pressing for the goal that would have seen them go through with Sweden, plenty of space was left on the counter attack.

"I'm shocked because we didn't manage to beat South Korea and qualify", said Loew, who said he will wait for "a couple of hours" before making any decision on his future.

Kim was not so profligate when he fired home from close range - although he was initially given offside before a VAR review sparked renewed celebrations - and Son completed the job.

"Since 2006 we've been among the last four or in the final".

"Germany are the defending champions and No. 1 in the Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking, so I thought about what mistakes Germany might make, because they probably felt they would be able to beat us - that's what everybody thought", South Korea manager Shin Tae-yong told reporters. "I'm a very lucky guy to play for my country and I'm very happy and lucky to have this country", he added.

Loew had changed his line-up to mix youth with experience, calling back Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil while also fielding Niklas Suele and new Bayern signing Leon Goretzka.

"We decided in the DFB executive committee before the World Cup to offer a contract extension", DFB boss Reinhard Grindel told Frankfurt-based newspaper FAZ.

"South Korea has players who can execute fast breaks, we will try to adapt", Loew said.

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