Germany apologise to fans after World Cup ouster

Fans of the German national football react at a public viewing event in Berlin after their team was knocked out of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. AFP

Fans of the German national football react at a public viewing event in Berlin after their team was knocked out of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. AFP

The president of the German Football Association said before the defending champions' group-stage exit from the World Cup that Germany coach Joachim Low would not be sacked, and instead would be kept on to oversee "a transition" in the national team.

Already eliminated, Costa Rica finally got their first goal of the tournament when centre back Kendall Waston headed home a 56th minute corner.

After beating Germany, 1-0, and South Korea, 2-1, Mexico appeared to be cruising in Russian Federation, but it still faced the possibility of exiting if it lost to Sweden and Germany beat South Korea.

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After Italy in 1950, Brazil in 1966, France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014, Germany join an infamous club of reigning champions knocked out in the group stage at the next World Cup. This kind of blind rage fueled by your team having an very bad match four years ago is what the World Cup is really all about.

But there were other problems too, with no natural leader and their unusual inability to score despite bagful of chances: they ended the tournament with just two goals in three games.

Sport often tends to sympathize with the underdogs and it is for that reason that South Korea enjoyed a huge backing not just in the Spartak Stadium but throughout the country. This is the first time since 1938 that a German team has failed to progress past the first round of a World Cup.

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"But we now are out and, of course, it's a case of absolute sadness and disappointment, but I think we have young players who are very talented and who have the opportunity to go forward".

"They are a strong rival that beat Germany and Korea and qualified at the expense of Germany".

"We did not deserve to be winning the title once again", Loew said.

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The Azzurri picked up only two points from three group games after successive draws against Paraguay and New Zealand were followed by a surprise 3-2 loss to Slovakia. However, Die Mannschaft suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Mexico in their opening match to leave their group open for the taking. Clearly we expected this to be a long tournament for us.

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