Germany eliminated from World Cup with worst campaign since 1938

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Not for eight decades had the reigning champions failed to make it past the opening stage of a World Cup, but they have fallen short in Russia

Germany marked an 80-year low in World Cup competition as they were sent packing from Russia 2018 in the first round. 

The reigning champions picked up just three points in their first two outings in this latest edition of the tournament. 

A shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico was followed by a 2-1 win over Sweden, with Toni Kroos' last-minute free kick keeping their hopes alive. 

But a 2-0 reverse against South Korea, coupled with Sweden's 3-0 defeat of Mexico, means that Joachim Low's men are on the way home from Russia. 

Their miserable campaign was capped by a late humiliation, as Korea struck twice in stoppage time thanks to an inspired performance despite knowing Sweden's win would also send them home from the World Cup.

Amazingly, it is the first time in eight decades that Germany have failed to make it past the opening round of World Cup competition. 

In 1938, Germany were eliminated by Switzerland in a straight knock-out format in their first tie of the France-based competition. 

The first match between the two teams ended 1-1, before the Swiss prevailed 4-2 in a replay and made the quarter-finals. 

Since then, Germany have never failed to finish lower than seventh in any of the 16 World Cups they have entered. 

The only subsequent competition not to feature the nation was in 1950, when they were banned from participating in the aftermath of World War II.

Germany also continue the curse of the champions at the World Cup, becoming the third straight holder to exit at the group stage. 

In 2010 Italy failed to make it out of a group that contained Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand, while four years later Spain failed against Netherlands, Chile and Australia. 

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