South Korea player ratings as super keeper Cho Hyun-woo gets a 9 in stunner against Germany

Chris Bailey 27/06/2018
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Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end … the Germans no longer always win.

Former England striker Gary Lineker was forced to amend his famous quote after a match that shook the World Cup, which has already seen a fair share of spills and thrills, to its very core.

South Korea were already eliminated. Yet, a team oozing quality from its pores in the likes of Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil, and Toni Kroos were left befuddled and joined their Far East opponents out of the competition in a 2-0 defeat that will go down as one of the biggest-ever upsets in international football.

Check out our Germany ratings below on a disastrous evening for the reigning champions:

SOUTH KOREA (4-2-3-1)

Cho Hyun-woo – Everyone knows who Hyun-woo is now. A commander of the penalty area and saved six shots – the best from Goretzka’s header. Deserves a chance outside Korea. 9

Lee Yong – Hard to remember any cross arriving in the South Korean box from the right flank. Also whipped in a devilish cross that had to be snuffed out. 8

Yun Young-sun – Less auspicious compared to his partner in central defence but intercepted almost everything that came his way. 7

Kim Young-gwon – Monitored the box like a school prefect including one tremendous block that denied Werner. Then became a celebrity with that goal. 9

Hong Chul – Not the smoothest of defensive players, dealt with most of what he was thrown if a little clumsily. 6

Lee Jae-sung –  Not overly protective with the ball but completed four dribbles and won four headers. Another key contributor. 7

Jang Hyun-soo – Kept it simple when he had a rare sight of the ball and blocked three shots as Germany peppered the goal late on. 6

Jung Woo-young – Korea didn’t miss captain Ki Sung-yueng for one moment with Kim leading the charge in both defence and attack. 8

Moon Seon-min – Big part of Korea’s heightened adventure after the break. Made a mess of a superb chance – why didn’t he shoot? 7

Koo Ja-cheol – The only ineffective Korean in the starting XI. Chased a few lost causes, generally lost otherwise. 5

Son Heung-Min – Generally a livewire on what he was fed – from scraps to silver service as game wore on. Fittingly he put the nail in Germany’s coffin. 8

SUBSTITUTES

Ju Se-Yong –  Made just five passes after entering the field of play in the 69th minute. He need have bothered with just the one that released Son to wrap it up. 7

Hwang Hee-chan – Perhaps the only peeved South Korean? Lasted 23 minutes before yanked off and did next to nothing in that time. 4

Ko Yo-han – The right-back solely had a defensive brief when he replaced the fleeting Hwang, solid enough. 6

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Disjointed and disorganised Germany do their best England impression in World Cup elimination

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There was plenty of shock but perhaps a sense of justice when the final whistle blew at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday, condemning defending World Cup champions to an early elimination from the 2018 edition.

Germany just could not get out of second gear and failed to breach South Korea’s defence, finally succumbing to two stoppage-time goals from Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min to complete a 2-0 defeat that sent them packing.

In a must-win match for the European powerhouse, this was an embarrassingly tepid display.

DISJOINTED DIE MANNSCHAFT

Results aside, it’s Germany’s performances at the World Cup that have been shocking. Normally such a well-oiled machine, they didn’t just look short of a few nuts and bolts this time around but a change of motor may have been in order.

Die Mannschaft are renowned for their discipline and organisation but neither came to the fore in this short-lived campaign. The well-drilled movement, the carousel of passing and trademark efficiency in front of goal – none featured as their title defence was brought to an embarrassing end.

Players repeatedly got their wires crossed, even the usually slick Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus didn’t appear to be on the same wavelength as their team-mates, only once linking-up well with each other to fashion a chance that Timo Werner blazed over on the volley.

A 1-0 defeat to Mexico, a streaky last-gasp 2-1 victory over Sweden and a humiliating 2-0 defeat to South Korea that dumped them out of in the group stages – all the while playing with the handbrake on and failing to strike fear in the hearts of inferior opposition. It’s almost as if the high-profile yet disappointing England sides of years gone by conspired to masquerade as the reigning world champions in Russia.

Germany were not in sync.

Germany were not in sync.

LOW’S SELECTION

Having spent 12 years in the hot seat as the Germany national team boss, Joachim Low’s presence in the dugout was supposed to yield stability and ensure that well-laid plans were brought to fruition. Surely his experience and in-depth knowledge of the squad would give the team a massive advantage over competing hopefuls?

Instead, the 58-year-old has proved stubborn with his selection and determined to be set in his ways. His side finally looked more threatening in the second half against Sweden when he made a much-needed alteration. Werner was moved to the left flank while Mario Gomez was introduced into the middle.

It immediately paid dividends as they had the Swedes on the ropes, created chances from crosses and managed to get the two goals they needed. While that strategy clearly had a bearing on his set-up against South Korea, he only opted for a variation of his tried-and-tested system.

Werner started up front again but was allowed the freedom to run the left channel with Leon Goretzka – starting on the right – then occupying the space in the middle that the striker vacated. However, that was neither here nor there.

It only seemed to create confusion with Werner, Reus and Jonas Hector occupying the same areas at times or the Borussia Dortmund playmaker drifting inside and often getting in the way of Ozil. Sami Khedira had another nothing performance.

If Goretzka were to play in his central midfield position instead with Gomez starting and Werner on the left, perhaps they would’ve generated the same attacking threat they did against the Swedes.

Joachim Low's decisions in question.

Joachim Low’s decisions in question.

KOREA FINISHING

South Korea bow out in the group stages of the competitions but they have been far more impressive than the Germans. The Asian outfit suffered narrow defeats to Sweden and Mexico but had they been more composed in front of goal, it could’ve been a very different story for them.

Even in what will go down as a historic win over Germany, their finishing was appalling. They should’ve buried the game well before they finally did. They had eight shots over the course of the game but only two were on target – both hitting the back of the net.

It’s not just their wayward shooting but their decision-making inside the box. At times they twisted and turned, ultimately failing to pull the trigger while on other occasions they simply snatched at opportunities. Their finishing hasn’t done justice to their overall play in this tournament.

South Korea's finishing has let them down.

South Korea’s finishing has let them down.

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Germany player ratings as Mesut Ozil leads long list of flops in disaster against South Korea

Chris Bailey 27/06/2018
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Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end … the Germans no longer always win.

Former England striker Gary Lineker was forced to amend his famous quote after a match that shook the World Cup, which has already seen a fair share of spills and thrills, to its very core.

South Korea were already eliminated. Yet, a team oozing quality from its pores in the likes of Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil, and Toni Kroos were left befuddled and joined their Far East opponents out of the competition in a 2-0 defeat that will go down as one of the biggest-ever upsets in international football.

Check out our Germany ratings below on a disastrous evening for the reigning champions:

GERMANY (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer – Comical moment at the end – but could you blame him for trying to inspire the rabble in front of him with his feet? 5

Joshua Kimmich – None of the canny overlaps, the laser-point crosses for Bayern Munich were on display in Russia. Monster disappointment. 4

Niklas Sule – Was a blessing in disguise that Jerome Boateng was banned, though it didn’t matter in the end. Excellent positioning to snuff out Korean counters. 6

Mats Hummels – Generally his most solid display at the back. It was in the other box where he had his problems, missing a fusillade of headed chances. 5

Jonas Hector – Even less involved than Kimmich. One cross to show for his 77 minutes despite such a huge advantage in territory. 3

Sami Khedira – Came off just before the hour and you’d have to wonder why he started at all. No guile on the ball and let Korea spring counter-attacks early in the second half. 4

Toni Kroos – His most consistent performance of the tournament – for however much that’s worth. His only assist, sadly for him, was the unfortunate deflection that led to the opener. 6

Marco Reus – Busiest of Germany’s attacking players, but like a moth around a really dim lightbulb before the Taeguk Warriors turned the lights off for good. 5

Mesut Ozil – Either makes the game look easy or takes it too easy. Was decidedly the latter here. Aside from one great combo with Reus and a few pretty passes his energy levels were zilch. 4

Leon Goretzka – Extremely versatile player, but didn’t make much of an impression wide on the right. Cho was equal to his deft header in the first half. 4

Timo Werner – Appeared poised to pick up Miroslav Klose’s mantle at the World Cup, but Germany did not utilise his pace efficiently. No one’s fault but his own that the finishing was so erratic. 4

SUBSTITUTES

Mario Gomez – More chances seem to fall Germany’s way when he’s on the pitch. Unfortunately they fall to him. One beauty that found his head was drilled straight at Cho. 5

Thomas Muller – Die Mannschaft were a tad more balanced on the right-hand side when he came on with half an hour ago. His usual cutting edge though has been blunted all season. 6

Julian Brandt – He’s a bits-and-pieces player – hardly that impact sub Low was craving. Leroy Sane’s stock has gone up without him even lifting a finger in Russia. 4

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