Jersey Swap: Cho Hyun-Woo
This one was probably the easiest award to give out. Cho Hyun-Woo was perhaps the only thing that kept the Germans out of the South Korean net (except perhaps their own ineptitude). The 26 year old keeper, who plays for Daegu FC in the Korean league (and yes, I had to google that, give me a break) made a total of six saves, denying the likes of Mats Hummels and Mario Gomez multiple times. All in all, a tremendous performance, one that he will remember with pride.
Now, we move on to this debacle of a performance from the Germans ...
Tip of the Cap: Mats Hummels.
Let me preface this by saying that it was almost impossible to hand out any of these awards. Hummels didn’t really do much on the defensive side of things because he was apparently Germany’s best player on offense. It’s perhaps telling that a center-back had the most shots for the Germans. You can’t really blame him for not scoring, since he isn’t a forward, but he wasn’t too bad with his defending, and he offered a decent amount going forward, so ... yeah. Here he is with a tip of the cap. It tells you how bad some of the players were that the center-back who missed a billion chances gets the TotC.
Golf Clap: Joshua Kimmich.
I’d say that for a debut World Cup, Kimmich didn’t really have a bad run. He ends his debut with zero goals and zero assists, but he showed a decent account of himself with his play on the right side of the pitch. It’s very difficult to quantify this game for Kimmich because he rarely had to make defensive plays, and the Germans were so impotent on the attack, but he looked like one of the few players who actually gave a damn. For that, he gets a golf clap.
Standing Ovation: Toni Kroos.
While there was no last-gasp winner this time, I think Toni Kroos has been Germany’s most consistent player in this World Cup. Kroos linked the offence and defense and provided a constant supply of possession to the German forwards. Yes, he squandered a few chances in this game by choosing to take the long shot, but what else was he supposed to do? His teammates couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, the way they were playing. Toni Kroos had a good game — although some might say we’re stretching the definition of “good.”
Meister of the Match: Niklas Sule.
Now for one of the few players who can say he had a good game — really good, not the middling mediocrity that passes for good in this current German side. Niklas Süle was a rock in the defense and kept the Koreans at bay, at least until ... you know. Here’s a hot-ish take: Bayern Munich will be perfectly fine if they let Jerome Boateng leave this summer. Niklas Süle is ready to fill the void.