Korea end Russia 2018 with stunning win, 2 painful losses

REUTERS  Jason Cairnduff

REUTERS Jason Cairnduff

South Koreans on Thursday spoke of pride and heartbreak after watching their national soccer team knock off defending champions Germany in the biggest upset of this year's World Cup, but one that still failed to qualify them for the next round.

About 500 fans gathered at Incheon International Airport, some of them throwing eggs at the players.

The Italians, who had beaten France on penalties to win their fourth World Cup, appeared to have little to fear when they were drawn in a group with Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia. South Korea shocked the world and beat Germany, 2-0. Mexico next faces the victor of Group E and, Alcocer concedes, "We have to more careful about everything".

"We had it in our own hands, but we did not make it", he said, according to SportsOn.

"Those mediocre people who have never achieved anything in life will say that it's a miracle that we got through, but what we have achieved is important", he wrote on his Instagram page.

That is, unless winless South Korea somehow managed to avoid defeat by Germany and erase the possibility of a three-way tie for the group, which Mexico would have lost on goal difference.

"It's a dark day for German football", Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. "We advanced to second phase, and thanks to Korea!" said Mexico City resident Edmundo Robert, who was at the game with his son and father-in-law.

Die Mannschaft, as Germany's team is nicknamed, had won the last World Cup in 2014 and were favourites to win this year.

Suele made his first World Cup appearance as a replacement for Jerome Boateng. "But we sent the world number one packing", said a headline in Seoul's major Dong-A daily.

"Personally, I am one of the first to take responsibility and we now have to live with the consequences". Sweden's 3-0 win over Mexico in the group's other match meant the pair advanced on six points apiece.

The DFB extended Loew's contract as Germany head coach until 2022 just before the World Cup kicked off, and Grindel had previously stated his job was safe regardless of how Germany perform at the tournament.

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