In a must-win match for the reigning champions, Germany could not live up to the expectations as a resilient South Korea team managed to oust the champions with a 2-0 win.
The last hope of Germany in a repeat scenario of the previous game against Sweden was defeated in injury time - Yeon Gwon Kim led South Korean forward, Heung-Min scored into an empty net.
That result in Kazan, coupled with Sweden's 3-0 win over Mexico in the other group match in Ekaterinburg, meant the Swedes and Mexico progressed to the round of 16.
With loss to South Korea, Germany fails to advance to the round of 16 at the FIFA #WorldCup for the first time.
Everyone was waiting for Germany to score another late World Cup-saving goal.
"We believe there will be a transition that will take place after the World Cup, regardless of the outcome of the tournament, and no one is better equipped to handle that than Jogi Loew".
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South Korea, for its part, needed a miracle to qualify for the next round; in the end, although neither side qualified, it was a match that will be remembered for years to come in the Asian nation. "We need to congratulate our opponents", an apologetic Loew, who has overseen a golden era in German football since 2006, told reporters. The official had to check with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) before confirming the goal, but it was good.
"We were playing for the Korean people", said Cho, a cult figure at home for his ostentatious, orange bouffant. But the team never really seemed to recover from its opening 1-0 loss to Mexico.
The Germans even have a word for it: schadenfreude, the feeling of joy caused by the suffering or humiliation of another person; and it was in plentiful supply once the final whistle blew on their disastrous World Cup campaign.
"Four years ago we were on top of the world - now we're on the bottom".
Loew had changed his line-up to mix youth with experience, calling back Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil while also fielding Niklas Suele and new Bayern signing Leon Goretzka.
South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong did not reveal which player would captain his side against Germany, just saying the role would not be for the faint-hearted. Loew said he had not yet reflected on the future.
The Asians, however, were also risky on the counter-attack and a few times carved opportunities to keep Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on his toes.