World Cup wide open after dramatic group stage

World Cup wide open after dramatic group stage

World Cup wide open after dramatic group stage

While the biggest story was undoubtedly defending champions Germany's humiliating exit, finishing bottom of Group F behind Sweden, Mexico and South Korea, FIFA's introduction of technology to aid referees has taken up more column inches than anything else over the past fortnight.

"Germany are the defending champions and number one in the Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking, so I thought about what mistakes Germany might make, because they probably felt they would be able to beat us - that's what everybody thought".

And Son Heung-min scored on a long cross from Ju Se-jong on an empty net.

The good will was extended around the world, including in Madrid, as Mexico earned a last 16 date with Brazil.

They were on the verge of being knocked out by Sweden as they trailed by a goal but Kroos' injury-time victor revived Germany's hopes of becoming the first nation to defend the World Cup since 1962.

Germany's World Cup title defense came crashing down in the most inglorious fashion imaginable on Wednesday.

German players looking devastated following the team's surprising early exit from the 2018 World Cup. "We have to admit that we really disappointed at this tournament". If we can't score a goal in 90 minutes against South Korea then we don't deserve to go through. "We believed until the end today". Serbia looked promising in their opening 1-0 victory over Oscar Ramirez's side, but their spark fizzled out losses to Switzerland and Brazil eliminated them. "Germany has gone out of the World Cup in the first round and, like us, they are on holiday now", it said.

But they could find themselves on a collision course with Brazil in the semi-finals, as they lie on a side of the draw that features countries totalling 10 World Cup wins between them.

But the coach stressed that "with the elimination, with the deep disappointment that we have experienced, we now need to think about which are the correct measures to take". They won all three group games, and a run to the semis like in 1998 is not beyond them, although coach Zlatko Dalic had a warning for his team before facing Denmark.

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