Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Germany Record Loew in Russia

Germany manager Joachim Low says his side deserved to go out of the World Cup after they crashed out in the group stage in "historic" fashion. The defending champions finished bottom of Group F after losing 2-0 to South Korea, the first time Germany have gone out in the first round of a World Cup since 1938.

"This is something for us to reckon with," Low said. "This is historic. I am sure this will create some public uproar in Germany."

Sweden won the group with a 3-0 win over Mexico at the same time, which meant Germany needed to win their game in Kazan.

"We saw Sweden had taken the lead so we needed to keep the pressure up but our team was missing the ease of play and the classiness we usually have. So, we deserve to be eliminated, yes," said Low, who had never failed to reach a semi-final before in his 12-year reign.

"At this tournament we didn't deserve to win again or move to the round of 16. We were eliminated not because we didn't want to win but we never had the chance to take a lead at any point - we were always lagging behind, trying to keep up."

Both of the South Korean goals came in injury time. Kim Young-gwon scored from close range, a goal initially disallowed for offside but then awarded after video assistant referee consultation. And with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer losing the ball in South Korea's half, Ju Se-jong found Son Heung-min with a long ball and the Tottenham forward tapped into an empty net.

This is only the second time that Germany have been eliminated in the first round at a World Cup, with the last occasion back in 1938 before the tournament introduced group stages. In fact Germany had reached at least the semi-final in their last four World Cups - getting to the final twice. This is only their third time not reaching the last four since 1978, with quarter-final exits in 1994 and 1998 their worst runs in the following 40 years

Germany are the fourth defending champions to be eliminated from the group stage at the World Cup in the last five tournaments (also France 2002, Italy 2010, Spain 2014). This is the first time Germany have not beaten an Asian team in the World Cup, winning the previous five meetings by an aggregate scoreline of 19-3

Germany lost their opener 1-0 to Mexico, but then beat Sweden 2-1, thanks to Toni Kroos' 95th-minute winner to give themselves hope going into the final game. Low decided to leave Thomas Muller - who has scored 10 World Cup goals in his career - on the bench for the first time in the tournament since the 2010 semi-final against Spain.

"According to what I saw today this was a good line up, Thomas Muller was not so convincing in the first two matches so I thought I would make a point. We had to take risks, we couldn't go on and wait and because of this we opened the doors in our defence.

"We had a good training camp, the team has worked well and we felt we would shift gears but we lost to Mexico when a point might have been different and we just couldn't make that switch.

"We were convinced that when the tournament started things would go well but that wasn't the case.

"We've been stepping up the pressure to score goals, certainly in second halves, but it didn't come together. We were dead, after their first goal. We realised there would be no opportunities for us.

"I'm shocked because we didn't manage to pull it off and beat South Korea. It wasn't my understanding when speaking to the team that they felt under pressure. They were ready to move ahead and qualify. We need to talk about it calmly and I think it will take some hours for us to come to terms with it."

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