• Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Day of reckoning for holders Germany

  • Published at 05:46 pm June 27th, 2018
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Germany's Joshua Kimmich with team mates during training at Moscow on Monday Reuters

Germany face their day of reckoning at the World Cup on Wednesday with the holders needing a clear win over South Korea to be sure of reaching the last 16.

Joachim Loew's team hope to follow in the footsteps of Argentina after the 2014 World Cup finalists scraped into the last 16 after a dramatic 2-1 win over Nigeria on Tuesday.

Argentina and Lionel Messi will play France, who were held to a goalless draw by Denmark on Tuesday, in Kazan on Saturday in their last 16 tie.

Argentina, the losing finalists in 2014, were heading for a humiliating World Cup exit before Marcos Rojo scored a stunning winner on 86 minutes to send Nigeria home.

Messi scored his first goal at Russia 2018 in the first half, but Victor Moses equalised shortly after half-time to put Argentina on the brink of bowing out before Rojo's late winner.

On Wednesday, the focus falls on four-time winners Germany, who must beat South Korea by two or more goals in Kazan to guarantee advancing after a shaky start in Russia.

The Germans stumbled to a shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico, then needed a stunning 95th-minute winning goal from Toni Kroos with 10 men to beat Sweden 2-1 and keep alive fading hopes of progressing.

"We have to be masters of our own destiny," said Germany head coach Loew.

However, Germany's path to the second round is littered with obstacles as all four Group F teams can still qualify.

Even bottom side South Korea can go through by beating Germany if Sweden lose to Mexico in Ekaterinburg, providing the Koreans finish with a better goal difference than their rivals.

South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong says his team have just a "one percent chance" of beating Germany and even star forward Son Heung-min played down their chances of an upset.

Should the Germans qualify as Group F runners-up, they potentially face a mouth-watering last 16 clash against Brazil in Samara on Monday.

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