Sweden's 3-0 victory over Mexico ensured Germany finished bottom of Group F and were eliminated in the opening round of a World Cup for the first time since 1938.
After defeats to Sweden and Mexico, South Korea were expected to bow out of the tournament against a Germany side who needed a win, but a major surprise occurred in Kazan.
In the last five World Cups, all those that have taken place in the 21st century including this year's, the holder has been eliminated in the group stage.
Germany isn't alone in going from first to bust in the World Cup. Ki Sung-yueng is really a pillar for our team, he takes lot of pressure from us.
Germany's Mesut Ozil looks dejected after the match against South Korea at the Kazan Arena, Kazan June 27, 2018.
A 0-0 draw would have brought enough joy but with Germany pressing for the goal that would have seen them go through with Sweden, plenty of space was left on the counter attack. Following their match against Sweden, Mexico's faithful turned their attention to the end of South Korea's game in Kazan.
Kim was not so profligate when he fired home from close range - although he was initially given offside before a VAR review sparked renewed celebrations - and Son completed the job.
"Since 2006, we have been among the best four teams, but today we have not put in a performance we are normally able to do".
"We were playing for the Korean people", said Cho, a cult figure at home for his ostentatious, orange bouffant.
The result sparked huge celebrations among the legions of Mexican fans in Russian Federation, and also back home in Mexico City, not least when locals mobbed the South Korean embassy and hoisted the ambassador onto their shoulders, before marching him around in thanks for his team's heroics in helping Mexico into the last 16.
The Germans even have a word for it: schadenfreude, the feeling of joy caused by the suffering or humiliation of another person; and it was in plentiful supply once the final whistle blew on their disastrous World Cup campaign.
With no option other than a victory to advance, Low inserted Mario Gomez and Muller for Khedira and Goretzka. "We advanced to second phase, and thanks to Korea!" said Mexico City resident Edmundo Robert, who was at the game with his son and father-in-law.
The goal was awarded because Toni Kroos' touch had played him onside, and minutes later Germany were 2-0 down after Neuer ran up the pitch in a desperate attempt to get a goal. Loew said he had not yet reflected on the future.