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World Cup Elimination a First Since 1938 for Germany

It's 4th defending champion in last 5 tournaments to be eliminated in group stage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2018 12:33 PM CDT
Soccer fans watch the group F World Cup match between South Korea and Germany as they visit the fan mile in Berlin Wednesday, June 27, 2018.   (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)
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(Newser) – Germany is out of the World Cup, the fourth defending champion in the last five tournaments to be eliminated in the group stage. The four-time champions lost to South Korea 2-0 Wednesday, allowing 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. 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 eliminated in the first round since 1938, reports the AP. 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.

"It's very, very hard to put it into words," Germany defender Mats Hummels said. "We believed until the end today, even when it was 0-1, I think we kept trying to turn it all around." All four teams in the group had a chance to advance in games that were being played simultaneously, but Sweden's 3-0 lead over Mexico put Germany in prime position to move on as well—if the Germans could score against the South Koreans. Kim Young-gwon scored the first goal in the third minute of injury time. Originally called out for offside, the goal was then given after video review. Son Heung-min made it 2-0 in the sixth minute of stoppage time after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came up the field to help his teammates outside the South Korea box. Son tapped the ball into an empty net after a long pass from Ju Se-jong.

(Read more World Cup stories.)

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