Germany came back from the brink of a humiliating World Cup exit as Toni Kroos scored a sensational stoppage-time winner to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden.
Kroos found the net with a wickedly curling set-piece in the 95th minute of a game that brought out the best and worst of Joachim Low's world champions, who were reduced to 10 men when Jerome Boateng was sent off with eight minutes remaining.
It capped a dramatic turnaround in a match that Germany could not lose after Die Mannschaft were beaten by Mexico in their opening Group F game, but such a scenario was on the cards when Ola Toivonen's superb lob gave Sweden a lead they held until half-time.
But Low's team-talk at the break obviously struck a chord with the world champions, who levelled early in the second half through Marco Reus' scrappy effort.
Boateng's dismissal threatened to unravel their efforts to get back into the match and it looked as though they would have to settle for a point that would have left their hopes of progressing from the group hanging in the balance. However, with the clock winding down, Kroos' stunner sparked jubilant German celebrations and simultaneously broke Swedish hearts.
The result leaves Group F wide open with no team yet mathematically through. Mexico lead the way on six points, while Germany and Sweden are on three, and South Korea still on zero.
Germany dazzled Sweden with lightning-fast passing in the opening exchanges and Julian Draxler had a shot blocked from close range before he toe-poked a left-footed effort narrowly wide from a tight angle soon after.
Emil Forsberg was pulled back by Thomas Muller on Sweden's first foray into German territory but no free-kick was given and, after Victor Lindelof cleared a Reus cross away from danger, Janne Andersson's men were denied what looked like a clear penalty.
Viktor Claesson's pass put Marcus Berg through one-on-one with Manuel Neuer when Boateng appeared to bundle the Sweden striker to the ground without playing the ball, but referee Szymon Marciniak ignored Sweden's ardent protests.
Germany lost Sebastian Rudy when he left the field with a bloody nose after a collision with Toivonen moments before the Sweden forward landed another blow as he burst into the box to control a Claesson cross on his chest and lift his shot over Neuer into the far corner of the net in some style.
Substitute Ilkay Gundogan and Berg exchanged dangerous long-range shots at the end of the first half and Low sent on Mario Gomez for Draxler at the start of the second half.
Less than three minutes later Germany drew level when Timo Werner's cross evaded Gomez but found Reus, who met it with his knee and turned the ball beyond Robin Olsen and into the bottom corner of the net.
Low's men did not stop there, and Muller headed narrowly wide before Jonas Hector forced Olsen into a good save to keep the scores level.
Reus should have made it 2-1 when his attempted back-heel failed to connect with Joshua Kimmich's low cross.
With just under 10 minutes left, Boateng was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Berg, and Neuer then made a dramatic one-handed save to deny substitute John Guidetti a winning goal with a downward header.
Olsen pulled off an even better save at the other end, parrying Gomez's powerful header over the crossbar, and Julian Brandt crashed a thunderous shot onto the post from an offside position as time looked to have run out on Germany.
But Kroos hooked a sweetly struck effort from a well-worked free-kick with Reus on the left into the far corner of the net from a tight angle to allow his country to breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Key Opta stats:
- Germany came from behind at half-time to win a World Cup match for the first time since 1974 – which was also against Sweden.
- 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.
- This was the first match at a major international tournament (Euros and World Cups) that Mesut Ozil had not 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.
24 de febrero 2019
|James Harden fined $25k for criticising NBA officials|
|Baddeley hits the front in Puerto Rico|
|Jaguares trump Bulls for first win of Super Rugby season|
|Ivory Coast on brink of qualification, Central African Republic hopes dashed|
|Johnson leads by four at WGC-Mexico Championship|
|Pelicans to rest Davis against Lakers|
|Rockets star Harden to miss Warriors clash|
|Eubank dominates DeGale to claim IBO super-middleweight crown|
|Man United clash will not decide Premier League title – Klopp|
|Solskjaer: Man United must avoid a title drought like Liverpool´s|
|Toulouse extend lead at the top, Stade down La Rochelle|
23 de febrero 2019
|Cruyff instilled Guardiola´s inner belief and desire to win|
|Treviso slay Dragons to go second, Blues stun Edinburgh|
|Tuchel happy with Verratti-Paredes partnership|
|Hodgson never expected to become Premier League´s oldest manager|
|Tigers batter Broncos to go top, Salford storm back to win|
|WATCH: Cantlay goes close to hole-in-one on par four|
|Rafinha confused and disappointed over lack of Bayern Munich opportunities|
|Bayern confirm Coman hamstring tear|
|Puel remaining positive despite Leicester losing again at home|
|Sloane Stephens vents as delayed flight leaves race to reach Acapulco|
|Valverde dismisses Solari complaints over fixture scheduling|
|Van Uytvanck battles into Budapest final|
|Patriots´ Devin McCourty reacts to Robert Kraft´s solicitation charges: ´Let it play out´|
|West Brom 0 Sheffield United 1: Dowell sends Blades back to second|
|Gatland happy for ´special´ Wales to stay under the radar|
|Eddie Jones rues England´s ill-discipline|
|Leicester City 1 Crystal Palace 4: Eagles mark Hodgson milestone with convincing win|
|Mbappe should have scored four or five - Tuchel|
|Sharks down Blues, Stormers clinch it at the last|
|Tsitsipas sets up Kukushkin decider in Marseille|
|Valverde sings Messi´s praises after 50th hat-trick|
|Wolves penalty was cruel on Bournemouth - Howe|
|Ismaily 1 CS Constantine 1: Hamdi own goal denies Egyptians victory|
|Record-breaking Wales fight back to beat England|
|Heidel stepping down as Schalke sporting director|
|Benitez: A great day for Almiron|
|Chiefs pounce on Sarries setback, Quins make it four in a row|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Nimes 0: Mbappe reaches Ligue 1 milestone|
|Kovac waiting on Coman tests after winger lasts nine minutes against Hertha|
|Championship Review: Leeds, Norwich both win|
|Messi insists LaLiga is not over despite downing Sevilla with 50th career hat-trick|
|Brilliant Bencic outlasts Kvitova to complete week of Dubai upsets|
|Sevilla 2 Barcelona 4: Messi hat-trick saves LaLiga leaders|
|Bournemouth 1 Wolves 1: King goes from penalty hero to villain|
|Newcastle United 2 Huddersfield Town 0: Magpies four clear of drop as Almiron sparkles|
|Zazai and Afghanistan smash records galore in thumping victory over Ireland|
|Dyche: Burnley have restored key core values|
|Kohli warns India over ´bad habits´ in IPL|
|Bayern Munich 1 Hertha Berlin 0: Martinez sends champions level at top|
|France bounce back as Scotland suffer familiar Paris pain|
|It was obvious! - Lloris furious at Dean decision|
|Maybe the cables crossed in my brain - Pochettino explains Dean row|
|Captaining Ireland an incredible honour - O´Mahony|
|Zazai´s 162 leads Afghanistan to record T20I total|
|Benitez: Ashley and I need to be on the same page|
|Burnley 2 Tottenham 1: Barnes hits late winner after Kane´s goalscoring return|
|Simeone has no gripe with Ronaldo over Atletico Madrid insult|
|Icardi remains sidelined for Inter´s Fiorentina trip|
|Sangakkara leads Sri Lanka plaudits after historic triumph|
|Solari still committed to LaLiga title race|
|Allegri calls on Juventus to ´do something extraordinary´ after Atletico loss|
|DeRozan humbled by reception on bittersweet Raptors return|
|Du Plessis laments lacklustre Proteas display|
|Hard work pays off for Karunaratne´s Sri Lanka|
|De Laurentiis aims jibe at Juventus and Ronaldo|
|BREAKING NEWS: Kane returns for Spurs at Burnley|
|Champions Crusaders outclass Hurricanes|
|Sri Lanka make history with series win in South Africa|
|Mane: Putting pressure on ourselves won´t help Liverpool|