Defending champion Germany out in stunner

Germany's Toni Kroos celebrates his winner against Sweden

A 1-0 reverse to Mexico suggested all was not well inside a team tipped by many to retain their World Cup title, and Wednesday's shock defeat to South Korea sends them packing from Russian Federation rock-bottom of their group. In a wide open Group F, all they could hope was an upset result in the other match featuring defending champion Germany against South Korea.

The four-time winners had never finished outside of the top seven since their last first-round exit back in 1938, but they have fallen in Group F to break 80 years of nearly constant success.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew was left shell-shocked. "Even when it was 0-1, I think we kept trying to turn it all around".

Germany have stagnated in the last 12 months.

We are just as disappointed as you! "We tried hard to win, but we never earned the chance to take the lead".

GERMANY has been sensationally booted out of the World Cup before the knockout stage for the first time since 1938.

A sense of doom grew in the stadium as Sweden leapt out to a 2-0 lead against Mexico in Yekaterinburg, forcing Loew to make changes in a desperate push for a victor.

Toni Kroos, who curled in the victor to beat Sweden, tried to spark his side but was denied by Cho Hyun-woo in the 88th minute, one of a number of fine saves by the South Korean keeper.

Low has often had to contend with critics claiming his success only came about after he took the reins at the start of a golden era, with some suggesting the country's World Cup triumph of four years ago owed more to the strengths of the players than his coaching. Muller like many of his teammates, had flattered to deceive. Defeat to Chile (0-2) in game two meant a three-goal win over Australia meant nothing.

Mesut Ozil at times lacked urgency, which is nothing new.

"We were playing for the Korean people", said Cho, a cult figure at home for his ostentatious, orange bouffant. "We need to draw the right conclusions".

On a warm and sunny afternoon at Kazan Arena, some 42,000 flabbergasted fans witnessed the fall of a titanic team who had made the semi-finals or beyond in every World Cup since 2002.

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Questions will be asked of Löw, the man who had guided Germany to five major semifinals, not least his decision to leave speedy Manchester City winger Leroy Sane out of the squad.

Germany, 2014 champions, are out of Russian Federation 2018 after group stages, their first exit in the World Cup group stages in 80 years.

"Where we go from here, we'll have to talk about it calmly".

Kim netted in the third minute of added time from a corner.

Kim was not so profligate when he fired home from close range - although he was initially given offside before a VAR review sparked renewed celebrations - and Son completed the job.

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min scored for South Korea as the beat Germany 2-0. But the strategy did not bring much success in the first half.

Mexican fans in Russian Federation for the World Cup also expressed their gratitude to one South Korean they found outside the stadium in Ekaterinburg following the defeat to Sweden. But the sadness couldn't match Germany's woe.

"Since 2006 we've been among the last four or in the final".

The result sparked huge celebrations among the legions of Mexican fans in Russian Federation, and also back home in Mexico City, not least when locals mobbed the South Korean embassy and hoisted the ambassador onto their shoulders, before marching him around in thanks for his team's heroics in helping Mexico into the last 16.

Incredibly, the Germans weren't joining them.

Fifteen seconds into the clash and in an indication of Mexico's nerves, Jesus Gallardo was yellow carded - the fastest yellow in World Cup history.

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