But the Taeguk Warriors finally broke the silence one minute into stoppage time, as Kim Young-kwon scored off of Son Heung-min's free kick. They were still in position to advance despite trailing Sweden, but they were waiting - some with tears in their eyes - for Germany to do the inevitable and ruin their chances of moving on.
And the 26-year-old had his moment to shine against Germany, which had 26 shot attempts and put six on target without scoring.
The reaction from the English press has been a bit much, but given that Germany were favourites to lift the trophy after seemingly getting even better in the time that passed between this World Cup and the last, it is an enormous shock to see them go.
Conversely, South Korea set about their task with vigour, if not always technical finesse.
Loew, who guided Germany to the title at the 2014 World Cup after a routing host Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals, said it was too early to talk about his future with the national team.
Supporters of the German national football team react as they attend a public viewing event at the Fanmeile in Berlin to watch the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group F football match between South Korea and Germany on June 27, 2018. After South Korea's two losses to Mexico and Sweden, fans back home unleashed a wave of vitriol on the entire team.
Though the unexpected elimination of Germany has created quite a buzz on the Internet, it has also triggered a conversation connected to World War.
Head coach Shin Tae-yong on previous defeat to Mexico: "I think our players played a game that they will not regret". In the 68th minute, Mario Gomez tried to head one home, but Jo was there to stop it standing tall in the middle of the net.
The teams continued to trade chances, with Son rolling one just left of the goal in the 78th minute, and Hummels missing the target with a header in the 86th.
South Korean football has been in the doldrums of late. Germany, as expected, had most of the possession in the first half ― over 70 percent ― but Korea had some real chances.
Though Germany had 26 shots attempts to South Korea's 11, they looked disjointed at times, not showing the kind of quality in the final third that has made them the No. 1-ranked team.