; Live report: South Korea vs Germany – The Citizen

Live report: South Korea vs Germany

Germany's forward Thomas Mueller (L) and Germany's midfielder Sebastian Rudy (R) react at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 17, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Patrik STOLLARZ / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS

Germany's forward Thomas Mueller (L) and Germany's midfielder Sebastian Rudy (R) react at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group F football match between Germany and Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 17, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Patrik STOLLARZ / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS

Germany set to accept their lifeline – but perhaps only just

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From the brink of almost certain elimination, Germany now need only to beat a poor South Korean side to (almost certainly) book their usual spot in the knockouts.

The 95th-minute winner against Sweden was a moment of clinical, brilliant clarity from Toni Kroos on a night when such stereotypical German traits had been in short supply. Jerome Boateng had capped a dreadful performance by getting himself sent off, and Germany were reduced to playing the last five minutes with a flat back one as they threw absolutely everything at somehow securing the winner they needed.

Has normal service been resumed? We’ll probably only find out in the last 16 where it’s still likely that Brazil will lie in wait. Even if Germany are once again as disappointing as they have been for most of the time in their first two games they should still win this one.

But 1/5 is not the sort of price to get involved with given South Korea are now in precisely the same position as Morocco were when giving Spain an almighty fright on Monday. Never underestimate the liberating freedom that can suddenly sweep across a side that has already been eliminated after its first two games.

Korea probably lack the weapons to actually eliminate the Germans, who surely aren’t going to give the universe a second chance after the Sweden scare, but 10/3 about Heung-Min Son scoring against an unusually unconvincing Germany defence looks big, while it might even be worth getting a touch greedier and taking the 4/1 about him scoring Korea’s first goal given the paucity of his team-mates.

We would expect Germany to win this game, but not necessarily convincingly or even particularly impressively. Korea may have lost both their games thus far, but both have been by only one goal against two teams in Mexico and Sweden who have not looked palpably inferior to the Germans thus far.

Korea are odds-against with a two-goal start on the handicap, and that looks a mite generous.

·         Heung-Min Son to score South Korea’s first goal at 4/1

·         South Korea (+2) to win at 6/5

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