Believe in superstitions or not, but no country has managed to successfully defend a FIFA World Cup title since Brazil triumphed in back to back tournaments of 1958 and 1962. The most recent nation which has failed to pose any significant challenge and show a slightest of fight in doing what none has done in over 55 years is Germany. The defending world champions have fallen short in almost everything on the pitch in the ongoing football extravaganza in Russia.
The Joachim Low’s side was expected to do big things in the tournament and was one of the favourites to clinch the glory but nothing has panned out according to the plans so far.
Germany was drawn with Mexico, Korea Republic and Sweden in Group F of the FIFA World Cup 2018, and was the strongest contender of them all. But to their plight, they sustained a shambolic world cup opener against Mexico.
The rampant South American side subjugated Germany’s game and showed them their shortcomings in their 1-0 win. Even in their second outing of the world cup against Sweden, Germany was shellshocked by an early goal against them. Although the European giants bounced back with a hard-fought win over Sweden, the damage was done to their contention.
After playing two group stage games, Germany lies at the second spot along with Sweden with nothing separating the two sides. Now Low’s men sit on the verge of ouster from the tournament with their hopes of qualification hanging in the balance.
Germany will face South Korea, which lies at the bottom with two straight defeats, on Wednesday in their final group match. While in the other Group F fixture, a high-flying Mexico will lock horns with a resolute Sweden.
Now there are a couple of outcomes that can change the course of the world cup for the defending champions:
- If Germany loses to South Korea, the European team will be out of the tournament
- If Germany plays a draw with South Korea, they will only get through if Mexico beats Sweden
- If Germany win against South Korea, they will hope Sweden either loses or plays a draw with Mexico
The Conclusion: The final group game of Germany is a do or die match for them. They cannot risk hanging their qualification hopes on another team, hence they will have to pull a major victory over South Korea with a comfortable goal margin.