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World Cup’s 101 Most Memorable Moments: South Korea play spoiler

By Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer

Editor’s note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with South Korea’s massive upset in 2018.

Despite losing to Mexico in their opening match in 2018, defending World Cup champion Germany had to like their odds of reaching the knockout stage of the tournament.

First of all, FIFA’s top ranked team only had to beat No. 50 South Korea by two goals to guarantee a spot in the business end of the competition. Second, Germany always advances. The last time they didn’t was 80 years prior. 

As expected, Die Mannschaft dominated the Taeguk Warriors. The Germans enjoyed nearly three quarters of possessions and fired an astounding 28 shots toward the Korean goal. Yet as the clock ticked past 90 minutes, the match was still scoreless.

With desperation setting in, Jogi Loew’s team had no choice but to push as many players as possible forward. South Korea pounced on the opportunity, scoring twice in stoppage time through Kim Young-gwon and star striker Son Heung-min to stun the four-time winners. While the upset wasn’t enough to send Son & Co. to the second round, it did return a favor 16 years in the making: when South Korea co-hosted the event in 2002, Germany ended their Cinderella run in the semifinals.

South Korea’s stoppage time thriller

South Korea scored in stoppage time to defeat Germany. Mexican fans celebrated with Korean fans because they were able to advance.

One of the leading soccer journalists in North America, Doug McIntyre has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.


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