Ger­many show what cham­pi­ons are made of

Sunday Times - - Sport | Russia 2018 -

● A dra­matic stop­page-time goal from Toni Kroos gave hold­ers Ger­many a 2-1 win over Swe­den last night to keep alive their hopes of qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cup last 16.

Kroos curled in a su­perb strike from an in­di­rect free kick to grab the three points for the four-times world cham­pi­ons who are now level with Swe­den in Group F on three points and be­hind Mex­ico who have six points af­ter they beat South Korea 3-0 ear­lier in the day.

Swe­den took the lead in the 32nd minute when Ola Toivo­nen fin­ished con­fi­dently af­ter Ger­many’s Toni Kroos gave the ball away in mid­field.

Marco Reus equalised in the 48th minute, meet­ing a low cross from Timo Werner, and de­spite hav­ing de­fender Jerome Boateng sent off in the 82nd minute, Ger­many kept go­ing and Kroos earned the cham­pi­ons a fa­mous win.

The Swedes played with fire as the Ger­mans racked up the chances in the open­ing min­utes.

But hav­ing weath­ered that storm the Scan­di­na­vians grad­u­ally be­gan to threaten the Ger­mans on the break, and Mar­cus Berg was de­nied a strong shout for a penalty when he ap­peared to be bun­dled over by Boateng.

With Ger­many get­ting in be­hind Swe­den’s full­backs at will and fizzing passes across the box, it looked like it might be only a mat­ter of time be­fore they scored, but Toivo­nen’s goal gave Swe­den breath­ing space.

Manuel Neuer saved the Ger­mans from be­ing 2-0 down at half time, div­ing ac­ro­bat­i­cally to de­flect Berg’s header from Se­bas­tian Lars­son’s stop­page-time free kick past the post.

Reus got Ger­many back into the game early in the sec­ond half as the Ger­mans launched a mas­sive of­fen­sive.

When Boateng was sent off for his sec­ond yel­low card eight min­utes from time the Ger­mans had no choice but to con­tinue to push on.

Timo Werner missed from point-blank range and the Swedes looked like they might hang on for the draw.

But Kroos struck five min­utes into stop­page time to give Ger­many vic­tory.

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