Germany show what champions are made of
● 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.