Huge shock as Germany crash out at group stage
GERMANY coach Joachim Loew is weighing up his future after the defending champions crashed out of the World Cup finals following a shock 2-0 defeat to South Korea.
After 12 years in charge, Germany's head coach will be under intense pressure to resign in the coming days, despite having only signed a contract extension until 2022 last month.
"It's too soon for me to answer, it will take a few hours to see things clearly, the disappointment is very deep in me," 58-year Loew when asked if he will resign.
"We will have to have discussions tomorrow, we'll see how it goes."
It is the first time Germany have failed to qualify from the group stages at a World Cup since 1938 as the holders became the latest defending champions to crash out early.
"This is a huge disappointment for us -- there was deathly silence in the dressing room," said Loew.
"Congratulations to our opponents, the Swedes and the Mexicans. "We were rightly eliminated from the tournament.
"We had many goal possibilities, but we could not force the goal."
The Germans needed to beat Korea by two clear goals but they wasted a series of chances in a tense match that saw a pale version of the world champions become the fourth holders of the title this century to be sent packing at the first hurdle.
Germany's team of superstars could only look on in shock in the final minutes of the match as US referee Mark Geiger called for the video assistant referee to intervene after the unmarked Kim had bundled his shot past Manuel Neuer from a corner early in stoppage time.
The goal was awarded because Toni Kroos' touch had played him onside, and minutes later Germany were 2-0 down after Neuer ran up the pitch in a desperate attempt to get a goal.
A long punt upfield saw Tottenham forward Son chase a clearance to fire into an empty net.
Loew caused a surprise by leaving midfield attacking stalwart Thomas Mueller on the bench for the first time since 2012 after his underwhelming displays against Mexico and Sweden.
But by the end of a frustrating opening half, Loew was left desperately studying his options.
Germany suffered the first of several scares after South Korea won a free kick on the quarter hour when Sami Khedira's boot connected with the head of Jung Wooyoung.
From 30 yards out, it should have been fodder for World Cup-winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but after fumbling Jung's dipping drive Neuer scrambled desperately to clear as Son raced to pounce.
Germany spurned a series of chances soon afterwards.
Marco Reus, who hit a crucial leveller in the 2-1 win over Sweden, saw his drive deflected and Mesut Ozil saw his effort deflected off a Korean boot and out for a corner, after which goalkeeper Hyeonwoo Jo smothered desperately when Goretzka's header found Hummels trying to pounce on the loose ball.
Germany resumed with more urgency after the interval, but despite edging closer when Loew introduced Mario Gomez just before the hour the big Stuttgart striker headed straight at Jo from Kimmich's cross.
Striker Timo Werner then met another Kimmich ball from the left byline with a right-foot volley that skewed agonisingly wide of Jo's upright.
Germany urgency was not matched by their normal efficiency and soon legs started to tire.
Loew played his final card when he introduced Mueller for Leon Goretzka. But the late changes failed to spark Germany into life as Korea hung on for a famous win that, unfortunately for the impressive Asians, saw them bow out after Sweden beat Mexico 3-0.