Germany 0-2 South Korea: 5 Talking Points as Germany crash out of the World Cup 2018
South Korea managed to carve out one of the most memorable victories in recent times as they knocked out defending champions Germany by a margin of 2-0, which included two injury-time goals. Joachim Low's men could not influence, control or dominate the game in any aspect as they found cohesion hard to come by and ended up surrendering in a disgusting fashion to a rampant Korean side.
Kim Young-Gwon and Son-Heung Min scored in the end to demolish Germany's dream of retaining their World Champions status, and here we discuss five talking points from the game:
#5 Joachim Low continues with his experiments
Hardly had Germany ever looked so vulnerable in a tournament in the past decade or so, and much of it is due to the influence of Joachim Low who instils a sense of calmness and stability into the squad. Low does not prefer to chop or change the starting lineup and rarely mixes up the players unless forced to courtesy of some dire circumstances.
This time around, the Germans have been less cohesive on the field, failing to stitch a clean attacking pattern to their game. Much of this is because they have not lined up with similar teams in consecutive matches so far.
Against Sweden, Mesut Ozil was dropped from the starting XI for the first time since his senior international debut and Marco Reus was played instead of him. Now, in their final group match, Ozil came back into the team but Julian Draxler and Thomas Muller were made to sit out. Muller has been immense for the national team over the years and his exclusion is quite surprising considering that Muller’s knack of seamlessly getting into the half spaces is an integral part of Germany’s attacking pattern of play.
Leon Goretzka formed the attacking quartet for this game, a relatively new and unique one considering Muller’s absence from the pitch. Jerome Boateng was shown a red card in the previous game, and Nikolas Sule replaced him at the heart of the backline. One of the surprising decisions was starting Sami Khedira over Ilkay Gundogan in the midfield pivot with Toni Kroos.
Khedira had a forgettable outing in the defeat against Mexico and Gundogan was particularly impressive after coming on from the bench against Sweden. Mats Hummels was fit to start again and hence this eventually meant that Germany made as many as five changes from their victory against Sweden; quite an uncharacteristic approach from a team that has been known for their professionalism and stable measures in the buildup of big matches.