Late winner keeps Germany’s world cup hopes alive
Germany kept their World Cup campaign alive with a come-from-behind 2-1 win at the death over Sweden in Sochi on Saturday.
Julian Draxler was making the early inventions and, after breaking out wide, he found space to whip in a low ball but none of his teammates were able to convert.
Sweden caught the opposition out on a few occasions, using their pace on the counter-attack to good effect.
Moments later, Marcus Berg was sent clear on goal but he was unable to beat Manuel Neuer from close range.
Germany had to make an early change after Sebastian Rudy was unable to continue following an accidental boot to the face. His spot was taken by Ikay Gundogan.
The Swedes reigned forward gradually and went ahead 10 minutes to halftime after Ola Toivonen lobbed Neuer amidst pressure from Antonio Rudiger.
A trademark Neuer save came to the fore on the cusp of halftime as Berg threatened with a sharp header as the Swedes went in search of a two-goal lead.
However, Germany were level a minute from the break as Marco Reus seized the initiative to steer home from close range for his first goal in the tournament.
The Germans were bidding to avoid becoming only the third nation to bow out at the first hurdle as defending champions.
Joshua Kimmich tried to make sure that didn’t happen after forcing a save from Olsen following a header on sight as the German’s continued to pile on the pressure.
Germany’s push for a second goal was not made any easier when Jerome Boateng saw red for a second bookable offence, before Andreas Granqvist almost pounced after a slip from Neuer, who managed to regain his footing before clawing the ball away.
Mario Gomez pressed for the winner in added time when he rose high to meet a cross but Olsen came out tops with an astounding acrobatic save.
A minute in added time, Germany were denied by the post for the second time in the game as Julian Brandt’s left-footed effort beat Olsen but not the woodwork.
German joy was finally reached at the death when Toni Kroos struck home a stunning shot into the top corner from a short free-kick to leave Group F wide open.
Germany: Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Rudiger, Hector; Muller, Kroos, Draxler, Reus; Werner, Gomez.
Sweden: Olsen; Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, Ekdal; Larsson, Forsberg; Berg, Toivonen. – kickoff.com