Germany’s only five-goal loss in a competitive game had been West Germany’s 8-3 defeat to Hungary at the 1954 World Cup group stage. West Germany went on to beat Hungary in the final.
Despite Germany’s worst-ever defeat in a competitive match and largest since a 6-0 loss to Austria in a friendly in 1931, Bierhoff backed under-fire manager Joachim Low.
“In 2014, Brazil fell apart on the pitch, and it happened to us today. I hope it’s a singular event,” Bierhoff said. “[Low] still has our trust, and the game today changes nothing.”
The general manager’s backing will be much needed for Low, who queried in his postmatch news conference: “Do I need to worry about my job? That’s for others to answer.”
Germany have been on a decline since winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they inflicted a historic defeat on the hosts in the semifinals.
However, despite crashing out in the group stage at the 2018 World Cup and winning only three of their past eight internationals, they went into Tuesday’s decisive game top of League A4 after beating Ukraine 3-1, and a knowing draw would have booked their place in the final four.
Three goals conceded in both halves by Germany papered over the fact that they could have suffered an even higher margin of defeat if Spain hadn’t been wasteful in front of the goal with other clear-cut chances.