Dark day for German football

By: AP June 28,2018 - 09:53 PM

Kazan, Russia — Everyone was waiting for Germany to score another late World Cup-saving goal. It never came.

Instead, the Germans have become the fourth defending champions in the last five tournaments to be eliminated in the group stage following a 2-0 loss to South Korea on Wednesday.

The four-time champions allowed a pair of injury-time goals while knowing a 1-0 victory would have been enough to advance because of the result in the other group match.

“It’s very, very hard to put it into words,” said Germany defender Mats Hummels, a member of the team that won in Brazil four years ago. “We believed until the end today. Even when it was 0-1, I think we kept trying to turn it all around.”

Germany ended up last in Group F while Sweden and Mexico advanced to the round of 16. South Korea was also eliminated despite the victory.

It was the first time Germany has been knocked out in the first round since 1938, though the team was not allowed to enter the 1950 tournament.

“It’s a dark day for German football,” Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said.

Kim Young-gwon scored the first goal in the third minute of injury time, a goal that sent the Koreans cheering in Kazan. Son Heung-min made it 2-0 in the sixth minute of stoppage time. Besides Germany this year, France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014 were the previous defending champions to get eliminated in the group stage.

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