KAZAN/EKATERINBURG: Defending champions Germany have been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup after losing to South Korea in Kazan.
Kim Young-gwon’s 92nd-minute goal, awarded after a video assistant referee decision, left four-time winner Germany on the brink of elimination.
Then six minutes into stoppage time, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the opponents’ half, South Korea gained control of the ball, launched it forward and Son Heung-min tapped into an empty net to score the second and seal Germany’s fate.
It is the first time since 1938 that a Germany or West Germany side has not advanced beyond the first section of the tournament, as Joachim Low’s side finish bottom of Group F.
SWEDEN THUMP MEXICO TO REACH LAST 16:
Sweden propelled themselves into the World Cup knockout stage with a handsome victory over Mexico that qualified them as Group F winners and condemned Germany to early elimination.
Mexico, undone on the counter attack and from the penalty spot before conceding an own goal, joined Sweden in reaching the next round as runners-up despite their defeat after the defending champions also lost.
Germany, the four-time World Cup winners, were beaten 2-0 by South Korea and failed to reach the knockout stage for the first time in 16 consecutive appearances since 1954.
Sweden also had a first-half penalty claim for a handball by Javier Hernandez that was denied despite going to a VAR review, but in the end it mattered little after three second-half goals.
Ludwig Augustinsson fired Sweden ahead five minutes after the break when a Viktor Claesson mis-hit inadvertently found him free at the far post, before Andreas Granqvist smashed in a penalty 12 minutes later following a Hector Moreno trip on Marcus Berg.
Mexico – who went close through a curling Carlos Vela effort in the first half – pressed hard for a reply but were punished again when Edson Alvarez clumsily turned in an attempted clearance past his own keeper.
Juan Carlos Osorio’s side, so brilliant in two previous wins over Germany and South Korea, should have at least a goal from their underwhelming performance but for woeful Vela header in the closing stages.
The teams will find out who they play in the next round later this evening, after the final round of matches in Group E.
As it stands Sweden would face Switzerland, while Mexico, who have been knocked out in the last 16 of every World Cup since 1994, will most likely play Brazil.