Germany have been dumped out of the 2018 World Cup after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea in Wednesday’s Group F clash in Kazan.
Sweden’s 3-0 victory over Mexico meant that Germany needed to record three points but late goals from Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min condemned the defending champions to their first early exit since 1938.
South Korea’s heroics in added-on time does not secure qualification for the last 16, however, with Sweden topping the group and Mexico finishing as runners-up.
Both teams went into this contest knowing that victory could secure their place in the knockout stages but chances were few and far between during an opening 45 minutes which was largely placed at a pedestrian pace.
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 – top of Fifa’s world rankings – finish bottom of Group F.
Sweden finish top of the group, with Mexico second, and South Korea third.
Eighty years ago, Germany lost 4-2 in a replay against Switzerland to go out in the first round when it was a straight knockout tournament, but their 2018 exit was the first time Germany had ever failed to make it through the group stage.