The Champions have left the building. The World Cup in Russia keeps surprising time and again, and this time, the shock arrived via the exit of defending champions Germany.
The Europeans entered their final group stage match in a crucial encounter against South Korea, where a win, and a big one at that, would have been crucial to them going through into the round of 16 ahead of Sweden or Mexico.
However, that was not to be, and late drama ensured to end the game 2-0.
Ninety minutes of wasted opportunities and desperate runs went into added time. Kim Young-Gwon’s controversial goal in the 94th minute, having been declared onside after a review was the first nail in Germany’s coffin.
This was further damaged when they tried for one last attack, and Neuer surging way up front ensured that Son Heung-Min’s easy shot rolled into an empty net.
Twitter was riddled with trolls and remarks about Germany being ousted and here are some of the best reactions. [Watch Video]
Needless to say, this goes on to show how unpredictable the rounds to come will be as well.
Germany were favorites to replicate their success from 2014, but their opening travesty to Mexico alone seemed to have set their chart on the course, and while Kroos seemed to provide much-needed hope against Sweden, all was in vain against the Asians.
In the other group game, Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.
This almost brings to an end the brilliance of the group stages, as nearly all of the remaining games are a foregone conclusion. Now, how these sides will fight out in the knockout games to capture Germany’s lost crown will be interesting indeed.
The giants will fancy their chances while those that are intent on upsetting parties may once again come out on top.