Giant felled! Germany crashes out of World Cup

Loses 2-0 to South Korea to fail to make it past the opening round for the first round since 1938.

Ecstasy and agony: South Korea's Ju Se-jong (front) celebrates his team’s victory as distraught Germans walk off the pitch.   -  AP

Holder Germany sensationally crashed out of the World Cup on Wednesday in one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history — failing to make it past the opening round for the first time since 1938.

In a stunning reverse by the footballing superpower which has reached either the final or semifinals of every World Cup since 2002, the Germans stumbled to a 2-0 loss to South Korea that left it rooted to the bottom of Group F.

Match Centre

Germany went into the game knowing that a win by two clear goals would have seen it into the last 16. But instead it was Sweden and Mexico which advanced after the Swedes romped to a 3-0 win over the Mexicans in Yekaterinburg.

“The disappointment of us being eliminated is just huge,” said Germany coach Joachim Low, who is now under pressure to quit despite signing a contract extension until 2022 last month. “It's too soon for me to answer, it will take a few hours to see things clearly, the disappointment is very deep in me,” the 58-year said when asked if he would resign.

IN PICTURES: South Korea vs Germany

“It is a really, really bitter evening for us,” defender Mats Hummels added. “The situation is very difficult to put into words.”

“We had plenty of opportunities, we broke our necks trying out there today,” he added.

Germany qualified for Russia with a perfect record of 10 wins, but Hummels said the team had not played well since it wrapped up qualification late last year. Hummels said the warning signs had been there after Germany lost its opening game 1-0 to Mexico. “We put ourselves in this situation after the Mexican game,” he admitted. “The last game we delivered a good performance was in the autumn of 2017.”

WATCH: Highlights - South Korea vs Germany

Sweden coach Janne Andersson spoke of his immense pride after his side topped the group with second-half goals against Mexico from Ludwig Augustinsson, Andreas Granqvist and an own goal from Edson Alvarez to move into a last-16 meeting with Switzerland. “We've done a fantastic job today with this match,” Andersson said.

“I'm so incredibly proud, almost moved as the thought of how we performed on the pitch, so disciplined. I think we've grown since our last match.”

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Andersson said he refused to take any pleasure in the demise of the Germans whom he had accused of distasteful celebrations when it beat Sweden. “I am not like that, it is not like that in sport. I was very angry, but that was then and this is now.”

(Video courtesy: FIFA TV)

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