- Toni Kroos’s goal clinches victory over Swedes
- Sweden had taken the lead through Ola Toivonen goal
- Marco Reus equals the tally after the break
A dramatic stoppage-time goal by Toni Kroos helped defending champion Germany a 2-1 win over Sweden to keep alive its hopes of qualifying for the World Cup last 16.
Kroos curled in a superb goal from an indirect free kick to grab the full three points for Germany, the four-times world champions who are now level with Sweden in Group F on three points and behind Mexico who have six.
Sweden took the lead in the 32nd minute when Ola Toivonen finished confidently with a soft-flick over Neuer, after Germany’s Kroos gave the ball away in midfield.
Low rallied his troops and sent on Mario Gomez at half-time to bolster the German front line, but it was the irrepressible Marco Reus who conjured up an equaliser, the ball bouncing in off his knee from a low cross from Timo Werner at 48th minuteof the game.
Earlier German side was lucky to escape an appeal for penalty. Marcus Berg had made a run into the box and prepared to unleash a shot towards goal, as Jerome Boateng appeared to tug the striker down in the box. Polish referee turned down Swedish appeal for penalty.
Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, Germany continued to squander chances, with Gomez missing the most clear-cut opportunity. With rebound from post (of a Julian Brandt shot) and defenders at goal-line as well as superb Olsen under the bar, it looked like Sweden could save the day.despite having Jerome Boateng sent off in the 82nd minute, Germany kept going and Kroos earned them a famous win.
Sweden boss Janne Andersson accused the Germans of gloating and ‘rubbing his face’ in defeat after the goal which puts them back in control of their destiny in Group F. He added “‘People behaved in ways that were not good. You should leave your opponents to feel sad. We had fought for 90 minutes and at the end you should shake hands.”. This only shows the intense contest which was at display for entire match, culminating at Kroos goal and German win.
Germany and Sweden will play South Korea and Mexico respectively in their last group league matches. Mexico has already moved to Round of 16, whereas last two matches will decide the other team from Group-F.
Germany: Manuel Neuer; Jonas Hector (Julian Brandt, 87′), Antonio Rüdiger, Jérôme Boateng, Joshua Kimmich; Toni Kroos, Sebastian Rudy (Ilkay Gundogan, 31′), Julian Draxler (Mario Gómez, 46′) , Thomas Müller; Marco Reus, Timo Werner;
Sweden: Robin Olsen; Ludwig Augustinsson, Andreas Granqvist, Victor Lindelöf, Mikael Lustig; Emil Forsberg, Albin Ekdal, Sebastian Larsson, Viktor Claesson (Jimmy Durmaz, 74′); Marcus Berg (Isaac Kiese Thelin, 90′) , Ola Toivonen (John Guidetti, 78′) ;
Venue: Fisht Stadium Sochi
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL); VAR: Clement Turpin (FRA)