Germany was rescued from the brink of World Cup elimination after Toni Kroos struck a dramatic injury time winner against Sweden.
Joachim Low’s side were looking towards a surprise early exit from the competition having trailed Sweden 0-1 at half time, only for the holders to snatch victory in the 94th minute of the game.
The four-time World Cup winners were rescued by Kroos’ late thunderbolt, which came as a result of a needless free kick on the edge of the Sweden box deep into stoppage time. The Germans, who finished the game with ten men after Jerome Boateng saw red in the 82nd minute, had dominated the match despite Ola Toivonen giving the Swedes the lead in the 32nd minute.
Germany had over 70 per cent of possession in the first half but Sweden always looked the more threatening of the two sides as they managed to muster four shots to their opponents’ seven. While Low’s side dominated the ball, the Swedes were more than happy to sit back and allow the passing to go on in front of them, restricting the reigning World Cup champions to shots from range.
Sweden were never expected to get a victory against Germany but having taken the lead and then conceding the winner so late, they will be understandably aggrieved to not at least come away with a draw. Nevertheless, they can hold their heads up high. They gave a good account of themselves, perhaps only guilty of sitting too deep in the second half and inviting Germany onto them.
The threat they posed on the break though is remarkable. Given the heart they’ve shown in their opening two games, you wouldn’t bet against them progressing despite this defeat. They will have to beat Mexico by a margin greater than Germany beat South Korea for that to happen but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
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