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Korea Republic 2-Germany 0: World Champions knocked out

Holders Germany sensationally crashed out of the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1938 after losing 2-0 to South Korea, with VAR used to award two injury-time goals.

Defending champions Germany have been eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage following defeat by South Korea, in one of the biggest shocks in the competition's history.

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).

South Korea have been eliminated from the group stage at consecutive World Cup tournaments for the first time since they failed to progress from this stage in each of their first five appearances at the World Cup (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994 & 1998).

Germany's tally of two goals scored at this World Cup is the second fewest managed by a defending champion in the competition, only ahead of France's zero in 2002.

Joachim Low's side went into the game needing to match or better Sweden's result against Mexico, but they failed to break down Korea's dogged resistance and were undone at the last as Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min netted, while the Scandinavians romped to a 3-0 victory.

If World Cup-winning head coach Low thought his problems were behind him after a superb second half in Germany's 2-1 win over Sweden in their second Group F game, he was wrong, and the inclusion of Mesut Ozil in the front four did little to inspire his turgid team.

Korea, with nothing to play for but pride, gave everything they had in hot conditions in Kazan and got their reward in stoppage time when Kim struck from close range and had an offside decision overturned by VAR before Son raced clear of the German defence and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Whether Germany's failure spells the end of Low's glorious era in charge of the national team remains to be seen, but he will certainly face questions as to why his side were so desperately lacking in cohesion in Russia and urgency when the stakes were so high.

UBS forecasters pegged Germany to win soccer's World Cup. The team crashed out of the tournament in the group stage, raising question marks over the Swiss bank's forecasting ability.

Zurich-based UBS was first and fastest: back in May, the Swiss bank predicted that Germany would win soccer's World Cup – again. Other banks followed suit: Commerzbank, for example, also predicted Germany (the Frankfurt-based lender might be forgiven for home bias).

Banks like UBS take the World Cup a lot more seriously than other sports fans. UBS enlisted its number-crunchers to devise elaborate computer programs using game data and algorithms in order to forecast the likely winner with the help of statistical methods.


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