Germany survived an almighty scare to keep their World Cup hopes alive, beating Sweden 2-1 having trailed at half-time, thanks to Toni Kroos’s strike in added time. Defeat would have meant elimination but now, with South Korea their final opponents, Joachim Löw’s side will be confident of making the knockout stage.
Sweden took the lead through Ola Toivonen in the 31st minute. Germany lost possession in midfield, Kroos the guilty party, and Sweden attacked down the right. Viktor Claesson picked out Toivonen with a lovely cross and the striker took the ball on his chest and then lobbed it superbly over the onrushing Manuel Neuer with his right foot.
Germany, who had had to replace Sebastian Rudy with Ilkay Gündogan as a result of an accidental clash with Toivonen, were stunned and it could easily have been worse by half-time. In added time, Larsson whipped in a free-kick and Berg glanced a header towards the far corner, only for Neuer to turn it aside.
Marco Reus equalised three minutes after the break. Timo Werner ran at Sweden on the left and drove to the byline. He pulled a cross into the six-yard box which Gomez could not make anything of it but Reus charged in ahead of Ludwig Augustinsson and turned it past a helpless Robin Olsen with his left knee.
Sweden were rocked for a moment and Kroos quickly had a deflected shot spin wide. But the game soon became even again.
Boateng was then booked twice in quick succession, the second in confusing circumstances after the referee initially seemed to have decided not to show a yellow.
The 10 men did their best but it looked as if they could not find a way past Olsen, with Julian Brandt’s strike against the post in added time.
But then, with the five minutes of stoppages all but up, a free-kick was taken by Kroos and touched back to him and he curled in a stunning shot.
Group F concludes on Wednesday, when Mexico play Sweden in Ekaterinburg and Germany play South Korea in Kazan.
Source – The Guardian