KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - German soccer fans had their hopes of a fifth World Cup title dashed on Wednesday after watching their team crash out of the tournament in the opening round for the first time in 80 years.
Four-times champions and four-times runners-up, Germany were heavily backed to retain their title.
But the Germans failed to fire on Russian soil, suffering a shock 1-0 loss to Mexico in their opener, scraping past Sweden with a stoppage-time winner, and then losing 2-0 to South Korea at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday.
“Today we played really, really badly so therefore we didn’t deserve to make it to the next round. It seemed the players came onto the pitch looking tired, mentally, physically,” German fan Jorg Roth told Reuters TV.
“There was nothing and therefore if we don’t deserve it, we shouldn’t make it to the next round,” he said, adding that it was right for Sweden and Mexico to progress to the knockout stages.
“They have deserved it. They can score goals. We apparently (can) not.”
Fellow supporter Denis, who traveled almost 3,000km (1,864 miles) from his home in Stuttgart to watch Germany take on South Korea in Kazan, was equally resigned.
“We’re very disappointed, but for such a match - they really have to go home,” he said. “There is no other explanation.”
Reporting by Christophe Van Der Perre and Fedja Grulovic; Writing by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Pritha Sarkar