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2nd half

World Cup 2018

South Korea 2-0 Germany World Cup 2018, Group F: match report

Two injury time goals knocked Germany out of the World Cup as South Korea sunk them to the bottom of Group F after a crazy finish in Kazan.
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South Korea 2-0 Germany World Cup 2018, Group F: match report
JOHN SIBLEY REUTERS

South Korea 0-2 Germany: match report

It meant nothing to South Korea but they celebrated like it meant everything. They had already been knocked out of the tournament after Sweden had dismantled Mexico to eliminate them from contention. But on Wednesday afternoon in Kazan Arena, Germany kissed goodbye to their hopes of retaining the World Cup in stunning fashion.

In a World Cup that just keeps on giving, Germany dominated for long stretches of time but could not break down a South Korean rearguard, in general, and their goalkeeper, Hyun-Woo Cho, in particular. It was all very docile in the end from Joachim Lowe's side, who had control but lacked cutting edge.

As the clock ticked down and word came through that Sweden were through to the last 16, Germany needed a goal. They committed men forward with the game deadlocked. The change of Khedira for Mario Gomez made sense but it destabilised a German side who had been picked off by Mexico in similar fashion in the opening game. Despite the lack of credulity in what we were watching, it was all very predictable based on what we had seen before from this German side. 

The more desperate Germany got, the more dangerous South Korea became and they got their reward when Young-Gwon Kim stroked home after a scramble in the penalty area. There was VAR because there's always VAR. And it added to the tension but the hints of offside were put to bed when referee Mark Geiger made a square with his hands and pointed for a kick-off. South Korea were ecstatic, Germany were heading for the exit.

It got worse too, and more embarrassing, as Manuel Neuer became an extra attacker and got caught out way up the field. The long ball down to Heung Min Son was tapped home to make it 2-0 and an impossibly long road back for the reigning world champions looked even longer.

So, it's Mexico and Sweden who go through from Group F and Germany who finish at the bottom of the pile after a truly horrendous campaign in Russia.

South Korea vs Germany live online: as it happened

South Korea vs Germany: World Cup Group F preview

Having been rescued from all-but-certain World Cup elimination by Toni Kroos' 95th-minute winner against Sweden last time out, defending champions Germany can now seal last-16 qualification against South Korea in Kazan today.

Meanwhile, despite losing both of their games at Russia 2018 so far, the Koreans could still reach the knockout stages - but must defeat the Germans to stand any chance of progressing.

South Korea

South Korea, who last met Germany in a competitive fixture in the semi-finals of the World Cup that they co-hosted in 2002, are without captain Ki Sung-yueng after he picked up a calf injury in the weekend loss to Mexico.

Shin Tae-yong's side remain pointless after losing 1-0 to Sweden in their opening game, before going down 2-1 to the Mexicans; however, they will progress to the last 16 if they beat Germany, the Swedes lose and, in the process, the Asians overhaul both those sides' goal difference.

South Korea's goal difference is currently -2, while Germany and Sweden are on 0. 


Germany

With seconds remaining against Sweden on Saturday, Germany were heading for a draw that as good as condemned them to a shock group-stage exit, but Kroos' wonderful free-kick leaves them second in the group and safe in the knowledge that they'll be sure of qualification if they match the third-placed Swedes' result against Mexico.

However, it should be noted that if both Group F games end in draws, Germany would be knocked out were Janne Andersson's side to be involved in the higher-scoring of the two stalemates.

Jerome Boateng is suspended following his sending-off against Sweden, while Sebastian Rudy is unavailable to Joachim Löw after having surgery on a fractured nose suffered against the Scandinavians.