Never in their wildest dreams did Germany ever think that their World Cup title defense would end prematurely. Germany is the third straight team to crash out of the group stage as the defending champions. They came in with potential, great mentality, team chemistry, and, most of all, experience. They just weren’t able to get the job done. And now, they’re going home.
Germany was a mess in their opening game against Mexico. Mexico was able to continuously counter-attack Germany and while Germany, from time-to-time, was able to launch counter-attacks of their own, they’d fall short.
Mexico scored in the 35th minute so Germany had more than enough time to equalize and score a game-winner. But Mexico was able to fend them off.
Germany’s next game against Sweden started off in a similar fashion as Germany again fell behind. But this time they were able to pull through and equalize and win the game courtesy of a goal scored deep into stoppage time of the second half. This time, the Germans showed some resilience and were able to get the job done. Had Germany lost, they’d have been automatically eliminated.
Germany’s final game against South Korea was crucial. Germany needed to win in order to advance to the knockout stage. South Korea was coming into this match already out of contention with two losses so it looked as though Germany would be able to easily take care of business.
Germany would come so close numerous times but they just could not score. Mesut Ozil was able to create seven chances for Germany all from an open play, but Germany couldn’t capitalize. Ozil’s seven chances are the most by any player in the history of the World Cup.
South Korea’s goalkeeper made a total of six saves. In addition, their offensive attack was really wearing out the German defense. It wasn’t until stoppage time where Germany gave it away as the South Koreans were awarded a corner and after the ball slipped through a Mats Hummels a South Korean player who was left alone was able to drill it in.
At first, the goal was nullified due to offside, but upon further review via the video assistant referee, the decision was reversed and the goal was given. Three minutes later, South Korea made it 2-0 and it was officially over.
Prior to the tournament, most critics were convinced that Germany’s squad was stronger than they were four years ago. What we saw was quite the contrary as Germany looked nothing like the team that won it in Brazil. Because of the national team’s brilliant history, it’s safe to say that Germany wasn’t up to their usual standards. No player ought to take the full blame as it wasn’t an individual failure. Everyone needs to take responsibility, including the team’s manager.
The team looked lost, poorly organized, completely disoriented. The biggest things we saw is Germany crumble under extreme pressure and the serious lack of discipline. Joachim Low, the team’s manager admitted that arrogance played a key role in Germany’s disappointing title defense. Poor decision making made a very negative impact on the team, as well. Low as well as the players are likely to face intense backlash from the media.
At this point, the future of the team is unclear. We can expect the team to begin preparation for the Euro 2020.