BRISBANE–Two-time winner Germany crashed out in the opening phase of the Women’s World Cup for the first time after being held to a 1-1 draw with South Korea in their final Group H match on Thursday.
The Germans, champions in 2003 and 2007 and ranked second in the world, had needed a win to be sure of progressing and Morocco’s 1-0 win over Colombia in the other group match in Perth sent both teams through to the last 16.
The Koreans took a surprise early lead when Cho So-hyun netted in the sixth minute but, while Alexandra Popp equalized with a trademark header three minutes before the interval, Germany was unable to find the winner needed to advance.
Casey Phair, who became the Women’s World Cup’s youngest ever player earlier in the tournament, almost gave the Koreans the lead when the 16-year-old saw her second minute effort pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Merle Frohms.
Colin Bell’s side only had to wait four more minutes to strike, however, when Lee Young-ju’s pass from deep split the German defense and the unmarked Cho calmly slotted her first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Germany was frustrated by the hard-pressing Koreans, but in the 42nd minute the former champions levelled as Popp out-jumped the defense to meet Svenja Huth’s right wing cross and loop her header beyond Kim Jung-mi.
Voss-Tecklenburg’s side threw everything forward after the interval, with Popp’s 57th minute header ruled out on review by VAR as the striker strayed offside following a clever flick by Lea Schuller.
The German forward then rattled the crossbar two minutes later with another headed effort and Popp was again denied 16 minutes from time when her bullet-header flew straight into the hands of Kim.
Substitute Sydney Lohmann thumped a pair of efforts just off target deep into almost 16 minutes of added time, but Bell’s side hung on for a point that sent the Germans out.
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