R.I.P. Germany. Penn FC’s first World Cup Connection has crashed out of the tournament after Die Mannschaft failed to score against an ousted South Korean side. Native German Raoul Voss watched in horror as Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min netted stoppage-time goals to earn a 2-0 win against the defending World Champions.
With losses to Mexico and South Korea and a single dramatic win against group winners Sweden, Germany booked its ticket home after finishing last in Group F. The German national team promptly left the stadium and directly traveled to the airport to return home.
Four years after Thomas Müller scored five goals by himself, the German national team only mustered two goals in their winning effort against Sweden. Surely, the German media will play up the irony that starting midfielder and Real Madrid star Toni Kroos scored arguably one of the best goals in the tournament, but it represented one half of the team’s total goals.
Despite sporting a roster full of stars including Kroos, Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler, Marco Reus and Mesut Özil, the team lacked imagination in their attack and poorly defended counter attacks. Critics will point to the team’s roster omission of Manchester City winger Leroy Sane as a cause of the poor attack.
While an infusion of Sane’s skill on the wing would not guarantee goals, the threat he provides would open up attacking opportunities for other players.
Germany becomes the fourth defending champion of the past five to be eliminated in the group stages. After winning the 1998 cup, France was knocked out in 2002, Italy, the 2006 winners, were knocked out in 2010 and Spain crashed out in 2014 to follow up their dramatic 2010 win over the Netherlands. The only exception of the past five winners were 2002 champions Brazil who fell in the quarterfinals of the 2006 tournament in Germany.
In a tournament where plenty of history has been made, Germany will want to forget its time in Russia. This will be the first time in the tournament’s history that Germany made an appearance but will not play in the knockout stage.