Ten-man Germany clung to their World Cup dreams in the most dramatic fashion as Toni Kroos struck a 95th-minute winner against Sweden in Sochi.
After losing their opener to Mexico, it looked like being another Russian nightmare for Joachim Low’s side as they trailed at half time to an Ola Toivonen strike for Sweden after another disjointed display.
The defending champions rallied in the second half and levelled after just three minutes of the restart through Marco Reus.
They could not find a second goal though and it went from bad to worse when Jerome Boateng was sent off eight minutes from time before Sweden keeper Robin Olsen saved from a Mario Gomez close-range header.
Substitute Julian Brandt then struck a post in the 92nd minute and with that seemingly went Germany’s chances.
However, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Kroos fired in a wonderful free kick from the left hand side of the box to rescue his side right at the death.
From staring down the barrel, Germany now look in decent shape to progress from Group F as they’ve drawn level with Sweden on three points behind leaders Mexico on six.
The Germans now face South Korea in the final game knowing a win would put them through unless Sweden can defeat Mexico by a wider margin to sneak through.
- Germany came from behind at half-time to win a World Cup match for the first time since 1974 – which was also against Sweden (0-1 at HT, won 4-2).
- Toni Kroos’ winning goal after 94 minutes and 42 seconds was the latest goal scored by Germany in World Cup history (excluding extra-time).
- Sweden’s Ola Toivonen failed to score in 23 Ligue 1 games for Toulouse in 2017-18, attempting 19 shots without success – he scored with his second shot at the 2018 World Cup.
- Toni Kroos has been involved in five goals in his last five World Cup games (3 goals, 2 assists).
- Mario Gomez assisted Marco Reus’ goal with his first touch of the match after coming on as a half-time substitute.
- This was the first match at a major international tournament (Euros and World Cups) that Mesut Özil hadn’t started for Germany since he made his debut in 2010, ending a run of 26 consecutive starts.
- Sweden have lost a World Cup group stage match for the first time since June 1990, when they lost to Costa Rica – this defeat ends a run of 10 group games unbeaten.
- This was the ninth consecutive occasion that Germany have followed a defeat at the World Cup with a victory.
- Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen conceded his first goal in 548 minutes of action – before this match, he last conceded against Netherlands in October 2017 and had kept five consecutive clean sheets.
- Jerome Boateng is the first player to be sent off at the World Cup for Germany since Miroslav Klose in 2010 against Serbia.
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