Holders Germany sensationally crashed out of the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1938 after losing 2-0 to South Korea, with VAR used to award two injury-time goals.
Joachim Low’s side went into the game needing to match or better Sweden’s result against Mexico, but they failed to break down Korea’s dogged resistance and were undone at the last as Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min netted, while the Scandinavians romped to a 3-0 victory.
If World Cup-winning head coach Low thought his problems were behind him after a superb second half in Germany’s 2-1 win over Sweden in their second Group F game, he was wrong, and the inclusion of Mesut Ozil in the front four did little to inspire his turgid team.
Korea, with nothing to play for but pride, gave everything they had in hot conditions in Kazan and got their reward in stoppage time when Kim struck from close range and had an offside decision overturned by VAR before Son raced clear of the German defence and rolled the ball into an empty net.
Whether Germany’s failure spells the end of Low’s glorious era in charge of the national team remains to be seen, but he will certainly face questions as to why his side were so desperately lacking in cohesion and urgency when the stakes were so high.