Germany, who won the World Cup in 2014, were eliminated from the tournament Wednesday after losing to South Korea.
According to Yahoo Sports, the result marks the third consecutive men’s World Cup that the defending champions have been ousted before the knockout stage. Italy, who won the World Cup in 2006, never made it out of the group stage in 2010 and four years ago Spain was bounced out early after winning it in 2010.
Germany earned the dubious distinction this year with a shocking 2-0 loss in which South Korea scored two goals in stoppage time. In a simultaneous Group F match, Sweden topped Mexico 3-0, but Germany’s loss sent Mexico through to the knockout stage. The loss is also the first time in World Cup history that the Germans failed to get out of the group stage.
After scoring seven goals in a semifinal game against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup, Germany could muster just two in three games this time around. And at least statistically, the Germans outplayed South Korea. At one point in the first half they dominated possession, logging over 200 passes to S. Korea’s 47. Manager Joachim Low scrambled for an answer, making five lineup changes in an effort to focus on midfield and defense, but also to try and create some sort of offense. His intentions fell far short of the mark, however.