What drives an eliminated team to their limits in a World Cup football match? One would expect the players to be deflated and not on the ball, to say the least.
Yet, that was not the case on Monday when Spain battled against Morocco who managed to score their very first goal in the tournament just after the first 14 minutes, and went on to score another in the second half.
Last night’s match, S Korea – Germany was full of highlights, especially after 4 – time winners Germany were crashed out of the World Cup in an ignominious fashion. It took 94 minutes before their doomed destiny was clear. A deft kick from Kim set both teams and fans on edge while the VAR decided if the goal should go up on the scoreboard. And after an excruciating couple of minutes dragged by, the goal slipped up to reassure the world that the ever powerful Germany was going to be eliminated in the first round.
But like a Greek tragedy, worse was yet to come for the world’s number one ranked team. Deep into stoppage time, an increasingly desperate goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer was found in the opponent’s side leaving a free net for S Korea’s star forward, Son Heung-min, to tap the ball gently in. This time no VAR was needed and the German footballers fell to their knees in despair and anguish. For the first time since 1938 Germany had not got through round one.
Once again, like a Greek tragedy, worse was yet to come as it became clear Germany had finished bottom of their group. Group F!