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FIFA World Cup: ‘Historic disgrace’

Germany's Thomas Mueller leaves the pith at the end of the group F match between South Korea and Germany. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Germany’s Thomas Mueller leaves the pith at the end of the group F match between South Korea and Germany. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

BERLIN (AFP) – From chants of “goodbye” to stunned silence, Germany fans reacted with dismay to their defending champions’ humiliating World Cup exit Wednesday after a first-round loss commentators called a “historic disgrace”.

“Our World Cup nightmare has come true,” screamed the Bild daily.

Even before the final whistle blew in Russia’s Kazan Arena, supporters in Berlin had begun leaving the city’s so-called fan mile, disappointed by Germany’s lacklustre performance against South Korea in a match heavy with missed opportunities.

Those who remained applauded sarcastically when South Korea’s Son Heung-min scored a late second goal into an empty net.

Calls of “Raus (Out)” and “Auf Wiedersehen (goodbye)” rang out from the fan zone as the weight of the 2-0 loss sunk in.

“These aren’t world champions, they didn’t fight at all,” fumed 27-year-old Oliver Fischer, wearing a Germany jersey.

”We absolutely deserve to be out. We had no fight, no courage, no ideas!”

Others erupted into tears and buried their heads in their hands as a sense of disbelief spread through the crowd at Germany’s largest public viewing area.

”Speechless,” read a one-word tweet on the German team’s official Twitter account, summing up the national mood.

The defeat was the first time four-time champions Germany have been knocked out of the World Cup group stages since 1938.

The country now joins a small but unlucky club of title defenders who crashed out of the first round at their next World Cup, a feat last achieved by Spain at the last World Cup in 2014.

“It’s a historic disgrace,” Der Spiegel weekly said, decrying Germany’s ”weak game” against a plucky South Korea.
Germany had needed a clear win to move into the last 16, but a series of wasted chances saw the team finish last in Group F.

FEELIMG EMPTY

South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong hailed the unfancied Asians’ momentous 2-0 World Cup victory over holders Germany on Wednesday but admitted it left him feeling “a little bit empty”.

A pair of late goals from Kim Young-gwon and Tottenham forward Son Heung-min, combined with a superb display from goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo helped South Korea create one of the greatest shocks in the history of the tournament.

Germany, the 2014 champions, Confederations Cup champions and FIFA’s top-ranked team, were eliminated at the first hurdle for the first time since 1938.

Unfortunately for South Korea, who had been given no hope following defeats to Mexico and Sweden, it was not enough to secure their passage to the last 16 for the first time since 2010.

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