Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos scored a stunning freekick in added time to lead 10-man Germany to their first victory of the tournament with a 2-1 win over Sweden in a Group F clash played at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi.
The world champions knew a win would reignite their Russia 2018 World Cup campaign and boost qualification for the knockout stage after the defeat to Mexico in the first game.
With this in mind, the reigning FIFA Confederations Cup Champions started the game on the front foot and were by far the better side.
However, it was the Swedes who drew first blood as Toulouse forward Ola Toivonen pounced on Kroos’ mistake to give his side the lead on 32 minutes.
Marco Reus equalised for Germany with three second half minutes on the clock and that appeared to give the holders added impetus in search of a second goal only for the Germans to suffer a fatal blow when central defender Jerome Boateng was sent off on 82 minutes for two yellow cards within eleven minutes.
The man disadvantage seemed to boost Joachim Low’s team with substitute Julian Brandt going close by hitting the post on the stroke of full-time before Kroos decided the game in added time in favour of his side with a stunning freekick.
The win takes Germany above Sweden into second place in Group F and behind leaders Mexico ahead of the final round of group games.
Germany will face bottom team South Korea in their final game though the Asians have been eliminated after recording two defeats from the first two games played.
On the other hand, Sweden will play leaders Mexico as the battle for knockout stage qualification hots up.
- / 8 hours ago
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