South Korea pledge 'last-ditch effort' against Germany at World Cup

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South Korea had pulled off a miracle.

To qualify for the knockout stage, Germany needed to win by two or more goals or better Sweden's result against Mexico in the other Group F game being played at the same time.

"I don't know how I should answer", he said when asked if South Korea could spring a surprise.

Wednesday, Germany would suffer a shocking defeat to South Korea, 2-0. Their chances depended on the results of the other match. But one that hasn't been checked off in quite some time?

Germany's chances got cloudy after Sweden took a 3-0 lead against Mexico in the second half.

The decision on the field was overturned, and South Korea was awarded a goal to go ahead 1-0.

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German defender Mats Hummels said after the match, "It's very very hard to put it into words".

Moments later Son sprinted to retrieve a long ball, with Germany keeper Neuer having left his goal to try to help his side get a goal, and the Korean striker fired a low shot into the net to wrap up the win and leave the Germans distraught. The disappointment of us being eliminated is just huge. Following their match against Sweden, Mexico's faithful turned their attention to the end of South Korea's game in Kazan. That's when South Korea stepped up.

In a Twitter video taken by VOA reporter Ramon Taylor, Mexican fans at an eating-place in New York City shouted in Spanish "CO-RE-A" after South Korea scored its first goal.

The result sparked huge celebrations among the legions of Mexican fans in Russian Federation, and also back home in Mexico City, not least when locals mobbed the South Korean embassy and hoisted the ambassador onto their shoulders, before marching him around in thanks for his team's heroics in helping Mexico into the last 16.

Unfortunately for him, and millions of German fans around the world, it just wasn't to be. The only other yellow card inside a minute was shown to Sergej Gorlukowitsch, inside 54 seconds for Russian Federation against Sweden during the 1994 World Cup.

Leaving aside Uruguay - who won the inaugural World Cup in 1930 before not travelling to Italy for the 1934 edition - it is the sixth time in the history of the competition that the reigning champions have failed to make it past the first hurdle.