Heartbreak for Toni Kroos and Germany as they fail to make it out of the group stage for the first time since 1938. After Kroos and Reus saved their world cup chances against Sweden, they only delayed their elimination.
With Mexico losing to Sweden, all Germany needed was one goal to make it to the Round of 16; it was just not meant to be. Chance after chance, Germany just could not convert them to goals. Hummels missed at least 3 chances in the late stages of the match.
At times, it seemed Kroos and Özil were the only ones trying to get the attack going. Kroos was once again positioned too deep and they were relying on him to heavily cover defensively while also getting the attack going. The defensive mistakes were still there for Germany, though South Korea wasn’t nearly as dangerous on the counter as Mexico.
While Kroos scored the miracle goal against Sweden, unfortunately a deliberate pass attempt led to South Korea scoring the dagger. The goal was ruled offside, but overturned by VAR and the goal would stand.
With Germany in need of two goals, they took a huge gamble by playing Neuer as an attacker. South Korea would make a long pass down the pitch that would be put in by Heung-Min Son.
Germany fall in the group stage like several of the defending World Champions have in this century. France in 2002, Italy in 2010, and Spain in 2014. Sweden won Group F and plays the runner-up of Group E, currently Switzerland. Mexico will face the winner of Group E, currently Brazil.
This German team will likely look quite different at the next World Cup. Neuer is surely done and there remains many questions with their aging stars. There’s also a possibility Jogi Löw will not be at the helm either.
It’s quite disappointing for Toni Kroos, Germany were predicted to go quite far again. He at least got his World Cup moment before elimination. At least he has his Champions League trophy and has already won a World Cup.