South Korea head coach Shin Tae-yong told his players they had "only a one per cent chance" of beating Germany to motivate them ahead of their stunning 2-0 victory in Kazan.
Goals in second-half stoppage time from Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min earned Shin's side three points as they dragged the world champions out of the competition along with them - Germany's first elimination in the opening round for 80 years.
Germany had 28 shots at goal in the match but only six on target, while Korea scored from two of their five accurate attempts, and Shin anticipated mistakes being made by Joachim Low's side.
Shin's satisfaction in the result was tinged with the disappointment at Korea's early exit from the tournament after defeats in their opening two games against Sweden and Mexico, and he told reporters: "I feel great but at the same time I feel a little empty, ambivalent.
"We said we had only a one per cent chance [of qualifying for the knock-out phase] so I told the players it was a last-ditch effort, that they had to fight until the end.
"Germany are the defending champions with a number one ranking, so I thought about what mistakes they can make because they probably thought they could beat us.
"I thought we could use that as a reverse strategy. It hit the nail on the head."
Defeat for Sweden against Mexico could have led to Shin's side progressing beyond Group F on goal difference. However, Sweden's 3-0 triumph left Korea in third place.
Shin said his tactics against Joachim Low's men worked according to plan, and that he hoped the performance would curtail the criticism aimed at his players after their earlier performances.
"Since we won we can say it all went as planned," he added. "For two days we looked at their strategy and felt they'd probably play 4-4-2, adapting to 4-2-3-1. That’s what we told the players.
"Although possession would be in their favour, I told them we'd have the opportunities. I told them to take the opportunities and I think it worked in our favour.
"The press usually just goes into the results, they criticise a lot without knowing internal aspects. They don't know how we prepare and we can't tell them all the things that go on.
"It was very difficult and we told the players if we had a good result all of that would be forgotten, that we'd have a chance to explain ourselves.
"We're going to review today's match and all the other matches, so I think we'll be able to prepare better."