WORLD CUP 2018: Four things that went wrong for Germany
The 'Curse of the Champions' has hit again, and this time it's Germany who is the victim. Coming into the World Cup as defending champions, Germany has not only been knocked out at the group stage but also has finished last in their Group.
People would have laughed if someone said that Germany won't make the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup.
This seemingly impossible failure, however, has become reality for a talented German side, who could not do enough against the brave and resilient South Korean team.
The exclusion of players like Sane and Gotze was questioned by fans and pundits alike, but the Germans still boasted of a strong side consisting of talents like Muller, Draxler, Ozil, and Reus, who did not fall prey to injury this time around.
But things were not meant to be for the Germans and they are now going back home after failing to impress in Russia.
Here are five things that went wrong for the World champions.
#4 MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
Miroslav Kose, World Cup's all-time top scorer, has retired, and Mario Gomez is now 32 years old.
As such, Germany turned to 22-year-old Timo Werner for goals, but the youngster who plays his football for RB Leipzig failed to find the back of the net in his three matches for the men in white.
Scoring 13 times for his club in the 2017-18 season, Werner had some big boots to fill and the gap left by German legend, Klose, proved to be too big to be covered.
Werner should not have to take all the heat though. Missed chances by Goretzka, Gomez, and Hummels all came into play to see the 2014 Champions bow out at Russia.
Fine header by Goretzka and Gomez were matched with absolute perfection by the South Korean goalkeeper, keeping the Asians in the game.
The most promising chances for the Germans presented themselves to Hummels, who failed to capitalize on them.
Having beaten his marker on three occasions, and getting his head to the ball, Hummels fired wide, each time, keeping the score at 0-0. The Machester City defender also showed some brilliant footwork in the box to create a shooting chance for himself but was matched by the South Korean goalkeeper, who had been lively throughout the game.