As expected, Joachim Low has resigned as Head Coach of the German National Football team following its failure to progress beyond the group stage of the World Cup after a shocking defeat against the already eliminated Korea Republic. After a disappointing 1-0 loss to Mexico in their opening game, the Germans rebounded a bit by securing a last gasp win over a tough Swedish outfit and were highly fancied to get the better of a Korean team only playing for pride.
But a slew of wasted opportunities and an inspired performance from Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo who was named Man of the Match, ensured that Germany would be the third straight Defending Champion and the fourth from Europe in five editions to exit the tournament at the group stage following the failures of Spain in 2014, Italy in 2010 and France in 2002.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference after the game, Low, fighting back tears, had this to say:
"I am almost speechless right now. When I saw the World Cup draw last December I thought it was a tricky group but I was always of the belief that we would find a way to get out of it. But even after the opening loss to Mexico and the last gasp win over Sweden I still had the feeling that we would have hammered the Koreans and gotten the points we needed to make it to the round of sixteen."
"Lo and behold! No pun intended, we never anticipated the kind of outstanding performance that Korea's goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo would have. He stopped and pushed away everything that we threw at him and I have to admit that his fine performance between the pipes coupled by our lack of cutting edge in front of the Korean goal and of course those two injury time goals we conceded were the main reasons why we lost today."
Low went on:
"I don't know, but there seems to be a curse on European teams who have won the World Cup in recent years - they all went out at the group stages after winning it. First it was France in 2002, Italy in 2010, Spain four years ago now us this year."
"In addition to which, winning the Confederations Cup one year before the World Cup should have told me that this year wasn't going to be our year. Look what happened to Brazil four years ago after winning it in 2013. They also won in 2005 and 2009 and also failed at the ensuing World Cups in 2006 and 2010. No to mention France flopping at the World Cup in 2002 after winning it in 2001. So it should be clear to everyone now that it is a curse and sadly, with that said, I hereby resign as Head Coach of the German National Team. It was a wonderful twelve years with the squad and I was proud to be at the helm of the Germany team which is rich in football history, in international tournaments and friendlies and even to help them become World Champions but unfortunately, just like tonight, certain parts of history are worth forgetting."