Kroos’s Late Goal Saves Germany’s World Cup

Over 90 minutes, the German technique appeared moderately easy: Push the ball up the middle, slot it extensive, cross it again in and crash the web. When the Swedes cleared, the cycle would begin throughout: Acquire the clearance out prime, transfer it extensive, cross it in. Rinse and repeat.


Toni Kroos of Germany curled a shot over a gaggle of defenders and round Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen for the decisive aim on Saturday.

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Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Repeatedly it produced gasps however no aim. However three minutes into the second half, it lastly labored. Timo Werner took a ball in arduous on the left and in the reduction of a low cross towards the halftime substitute Mario Gómez. The ball was a yard behind him, and his outstretched trailing leg missed it. However that allowed it to achieve Reus, and he turned it in for the tying aim.

The Germans sighed, the Swedes’ shoulders dropped, and the sample promptly continued. A go extensive, a cross in, a ball cleared, or smothered, or despatched off beam. It was a coaching drill come to life, pressured on Germany by an early Sweden aim.

That got here within the 32nd minute, out of just about nothing and in opposition to the run of play. An errant go by Kroos within the middle circle grew to become, in two fast Swedish passes, an opportunity bouncing off the chest of ahead Ola Toivonen within the German penalty space. Coolly controlling beneath strain, Toivonen introduced the ball down and calmly popped it over a charging Manuel Neuer.

The Germans have been shocked, and all of the sudden far, far nearer to World Cup elimination than felt comfy for a four-time champion enjoying solely its second sport right here.

An hour later, it was the Swedes who sat shocked on the turf. They are going to now must beat Mexico, and hope it’s the Germans who falter.

Right here’s how Germany defeated Sweden:


They’ve completed it. What an evening.

Germany wins, 2-1, and so they’re out right here bumping chests like wrestlers. Or gladiators. Or linebackers. However largely, like winners.

The Swedes are simply devastated, sitting on the turf the place they dropped. They’ll’t consider what’s simply occurred both.


What. A. Goal. What. A. Second.

Kroos rolled the ball forward a yard to Reus after which put his proper foot into it and curled it round Olsen and inside the fitting put up. A surprising second, and a complete nation roars. (One other one is crestfallen, btw.)

90’ +four: Free Kick

Werner drives on the left and is fouled. Free kick simply exterior the world for Kroos.

90’ +2: Intense Ending!

They play it brief, and Gundogan works it over to Brandt — WHO PINGS THE POST! The ricochet is just too sizzling to deal with, although, and is turned over the ball.

And now it’s Sweden rapidly on the different finish doing the identical!!! Breathless ending right here.

90’ +1: 5 Extra Minutes!

5 minutes of added time begins … with a German nook.

89’: Huge Free Kick

Germany wins a free kick on the left, Kroos over it. Huge second coming …

Olsen punches it over the contact line!

And nonetheless the Germans come …

88’: Wasted Likelihood for Germany

Horrible wasted ball by Muller on the fitting. He had a staff filled with gamers within the middle, however slashes a shot over the bar. Neuer now standing within the middle circle because the Germans press. He’s successfully the substitute for Boateng now.


Cross to Gomez for a point-blank header on the six — Olsen pushes it over!!!!

87’: German Subs

Julian Brandt on for Germany. Contemporary legs on the left.

85’: Again Come the Germans

Neuer scrambling for a brand new ball at each whistle now. The Germans know a tie is okay, however a win is what they actually need.

Right here they arrive once more ……

83’: Swedish Subs

Sweden’s subs earlier, by the best way, have been Guidetti and Durmaz for Claesson and Toivonen, the aim scorer.


This may make it more durable on Germany. Boateng sees crimson for his second yellow, and Germany will end with 10. With Hummels already out tonight, meaning each of Germany’s middle backs are gone. Not that they want middle backs proper now. They want a aim.

80’: WERNER!!!

One other incisive ball finds him close to the spot, extensive open, however he lifts his shot over the bar. Palms over mouth time for him. He can’t consider it. He’s not alone.

77’: Germans Maintain On Coming

A number of backwards and forwards now, and a few subs, however the tenor of the match hasn’t modified. Sweden is defending for its life and making an attempt to interrupt out the place it might probably. The Germans are combating, and sweating mightily.

64’: Nonstop Motion!

The sport’s tempo continues sizzling as we go the hour mark. German crosses, Swedish clearances, German crosses, German photographs, Swedish clearances …… You get the thought.

61’ Oooooooh That Was Shut

One other ball up the center sprayed extensive by Reus. Kimmich fires it again in, however Reus one way or the other misses the return, and so does Gomez. That was the perfect probability for 2-1 but. There will likely be extra.

55’: Germany Retains Attacking

Sweden has weathered the quick storm, however Germany retains coming. A draw retains them alive, however it additionally means they’d need assistance to get to the second spherical. And that’s why they’re pushing for a win.

Werner on the left once more, cross to Gomez once more, shot stopped once more. This isn’t a recording.

Now Muller, on service from the fitting. Over and again and again the balls are available in.

52’: It’s Getting Testy

A YELLOW for Ekdal for a foul on Muller, after which Berg vans Werner to cease a break.


Marco Reus, left, scored for Germany within the second half in opposition to Sweden.

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Friedemann Vogel/EPA, through Shutterstock


Werner crosses arduous from the left, however a yard behind Gomez, who reaches again and misses. However the ball then goes straight to Reus, and he slides it previous Olsen. The Germans are alive, and now urgent for a second.

46’: Germany Brings in Gomez

Mario Gomez on for Germany; Draxler off. Gomez is a finisher.

Halftime: Surprisingly Acquainted

It’s humorous (nicely, to not Germans) how the Sweden aim was harking back to Mexico’s: a fast counterattack that caught the Germans scrambling again, first contact and knowledgeable end.


The final motion of the half, fittingly for the way it went, it Neuer diving full stretch to his proper to paw away a glancing header by Marcus Berg. That was headed inside his put up, so it’s factor Neuer is 11 ft tall. However Sweden, in opposition to all odds however not undeservedly, leads by a aim on the break. Jogi Löw higher discover some solutions in that dressing room. However after 90 minutes in opposition to Mexico and 45 extra right here tonight, I’m unsure German followers consider he’ll.

44’: One other Sweden Counter

The lead ball finds Claesson on the fitting. However as an alternative of capturing he tries to chop again, and a well-placed Hector heel breaks up the possibility. That was actual hazard for Germany. Taking part in with hearth late.

42’: Germany Pushing Arduous

Germany desperately desires an equalizer earlier than the half, however they’re simply firing balls now. Kimmich rockets in a line drive of a cross middle fielder with a glove won’t have dealt with. It hits a teammate arduous sufficient to go away a welt, and ricochets away.

39’: Germany Likelihood

Muller is first to the rebound of an extended shot parried by Olsen, however wrestling a defender because the goalkeeper comes out, he can’t discover a method to get a foot on the ball.

36’: If This Rating Holds…

Germany will collapse right into a vicious cycle of criticism and blame-assigning after which a profound sense of ennui beforehand seen during the last yr in Italy, the US and the Netherlands.

34’: Germany’s Morale Sinking

Neuer was furiously clapping his palms to encourage his staff after the aim, sensing heads have been dropping. That was utterly in opposition to the run of play, however you realize what: nobody places “*-completely against run of play” on the scoresheet.

The Sweden followers, fwiw, are dancing.


Ola Toivonen celebrated scoring Sweden’s first aim in opposition to Germany throughout Saturday’s World Cup match.

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Francois Lenoir/Reuters


Nicely, that’s a shock.

All of it begins with a lazy Toni Kroos giveaway in midfield. Two fast passes to vary route and cross into the middle and the ball is on the chest of Ola Toivonen, who brings it down on pops it over a charging Neuer. Sweden, 1-Zero, and my, doesn’t that get German hearts racing.

31’: Germany Again at Full Energy

That was Ilkay Gundogan, not Khedira, who was warming (apologies, the media sits within the higher deck), and now he comes on.

28’: Man Benefit for Sweden

Sweden, quickly up a person, well transferring the ball aspect to aspect with no actual intent. The works for them on two ranges: it makes the Germans chase the ball, and it chews up a minute or two with out actually risking a lack of possession. It’s simply lengthy lazy balls backward and forward, and the Germans are pressured to shift backwards and forwards with the rhythm.

26’: Rudy Exits

Nobody was warming up for Germany, clearly, however they rapidly get what appears to be like like Khedira up. Rudy was a multitude; absolutely he’ll have to come back off.


Germany’s Sebastian Rudy bled after being kicked within the face throughout Saturday’s match in opposition to Sweden.

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Michael Probst/Related Press

25’: Ouch…Germany’s Rudy is Bloody

Sebastian Rudy, who began in midfield instead of Sami Khedira, is down on the flip after getting kicked within the face as he slid in useless for a ball. He’s bleeding closely, and that nostril certain appears to be like damaged. They’ll swap his shirt for now, however that’s going to make it powerful to proceed.

22’: Sweden Losing Time?

Muller screams to the ref about Sweden’s time-wasting. Within the 22nd minute. Giving no quarter.

16’: Summing Up Germany’s World Cup

So the story of the primary half to date is Germany whaling on Sweden like a dusty rug for 15 minutes, after which the Swedes almost taking the lead with their first and solely probability. Fairly the World Cup Germany is having to date.

12’: Sweden Likelihood!

HUGE probability for Sweden there, with a turnover and fast diagonal ball springing Berg free behind the German protection. However Rudinger arrives within the nick of time to ship simply sufficient of a shove to knock him off, and a charging Neuer smothers the possibility like a heat blanket. The Swedes howl for a penalty, or a minimum of a evaluate, and it may need been value one. However play by no means stopped, and two minutes later, when it did, it appears the Polish referee, didn’t really feel it was definitely worth the trouble.

As soon as performed stopped and restarted for a Swedish free kick of their finish, anyway, he COULDN’T return and look.

We proceed ……

10’: Germany Attacking

Sweden is protecting all 10 area gamers behind the ball at virtually all occasions. They’re actually feeling the German strain, and appear decided to simply hunker down and combat them off.

At the least for the second.


Sweden’s Albin Ekdal in motion with Germany’s Sebastian Rudy and Joshua Kimmich throughout their World Cup match on Saturday.

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Hannah Mckay/Reuters

eight’: Probabilities at Each Ends

Sweden has probed the German finish simply as soon as, however a collapsing protection smothered the possibility earlier than it grew to become something. On the different finish, Draxler turns the nook on the left and skims a cross by way of the aim mouth however nobody is there to redirect it and it sails by way of to security.

Now Reus does the identical on the fitting, however his cutback hits a defender as an alternative of Werner.

2’: Early Probabilities for Germany

Good work from Timo Werner on the finish line provides Germany two bites on the apple, however Sweden blocks each, then the rebound goes out extensive.

Biking it again in, Germany will get two extra (barely deeper) photographs. Each are blocked, too.

Arduous to Consider: Germany Might Be Out After This One

One final time because it appears so unusual to sort it: Germany will likely be out of the World Cup if it loses to Sweden tonight. Benefit from the sport.

Don’t Sleep on Sweden

Sweden isn’t a kind of attractive groups everybody at all times appears to be like at as a World Cup darkish horse. However they’re a strong group, and so they’re tight and disciplined. And keep in mind: they knocked out one other large model, Italy, to seal their place in Russia. Coming off a win over South Korea of their opener, they absolutely see tonight as an opportunity to announce themselves.

What’s at Stake

Mexico’s victory over South Korea positions them to advance by way of to the knockout spherical tonight for the seventh straight World Cup, however it additionally makes the stakes very clear right here: a Germany loss to Sweden and the Germans, the defending World Cup champions, are OUT after solely two video games in Russia.

A win or draw extends their life to the ultimate group sport, however listed here are the present group standings:

Mexico 6 factors; +2 aim distinction

Sweden three factors; + 1 aim distinction

Germany Zero factors; -1 aim distinction

South Korea Zero factors; -2 aim distinction

Sweden’s Lineup

And right here’s Sweden’s XI tonight:

Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson; Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Victor Claesson, Emil Forsberg, Ola Toivonen, Marcus Berg

Germany’s Lineup

The lineups are out and Germany has made FOUR adjustments from the opener. Özil, Khedira dropped in midfielder, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger in for the injured Mats Hummels at middle again.

Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Antonio Ruediger, Jonas Hector; Sebastian Rudy, Toni Kroos; Julian Draxler, Marco Reus, Thomas Muller; Timo Werner. That’s a supervisor who is aware of the stakes and wasn’t proud of the performances on Sunday.

Germany vs. Sweden Prime Story Traces

• Germany, the defending World Cup champion, sits at the bottom of Group F after dropping its opener in opposition to Mexico, 1-0. The Germans appeared postpone by the Mexicans’ tempo and directness, however they hit the bar with a shot within the second half and almost grabbed a degree.

• Nonetheless, one mixture of outcomes on Saturday — a Mexico win over South Korea and a Germany loss to Sweden — would put the Germany out of the event by bedtime.

• Germany Coach Joachim Löw assured after the loss to Mexico that might not occur. Instructed that three latest World Cup champions — France in 1998, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014 — had celebrating their titles by crashing out within the group stage of the subsequent World Cup, Löw feigned ignorance and confidence on the similar time. “I have no idea why that might be the case,” he mentioned. “But we will qualify for the next round.”

• Sweden famously certified for the World Cup by eliminating Italy in a UEFA playoff after ending second in its group behind France. The Swedes will be powerful defensively: they surrendered solely 9 objectives in 10 qualifiers, and none of their two-leg playoff in opposition to Italy.

• Germany could also be with out middle again Mats Hummels on Saturday — he has a neck damage, the staff mentioned — however Sweden might have larger issues: a stomach bug is sweeping by way of their camp.


Video Review at the World Cup Is Resulting in More Goals From Penalty Kicks

The video-assistant-referee system has led to a higher percentage of penalty-kick goals than in each previous tournament.

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Some Pregame Studying

Rory Smith of the Occasions wrote that Germany’s greatest drawback was that it has change into entirely predictable.

That mentioned, Löw says he isn’t altering something. “We will not just break apart now and become headless and do something completely different,” he said this week. “There is no need to break out in panic just because we have lost a match.”

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