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Late Toni Kroos winner brings 10-man Germany back from the brink against Sweden

Germany’s hopes of reaching the World Cup knockout phase were hanging in the balance before Toni Kroos scored a stoppage-time free-kick.

football Updated: Jun 24, 2018 07:38 IST
Germany football team,Football World Cup,FIFA World Cup 2018
Germany's Toni Kroos celebrates after scoring his side's second goal with his teammate Germany's Antonio Ruediger, left, and Marco Reus, right, during the group F match between Germany and Sweden at the 2018 soccer World Cup.(AP)

Germany came back from the brink of a humiliating World Cup exit as Toni Kroos scored a sensational stoppage-time winner to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden.

Kroos found the net with a wickedly curling set-piece in the 95th minute of a game that brought out the best and worst of Joachim Low’s world champions, who were reduced to 10 men when Jerome Boateng was sent off with eight minutes remaining.

It capped a dramatic turnaround in a match that Germany could not lose after Die Mannschaft were defeated in their opening Group F game to Mexico, but such a scenario was on the cards when Ola Toivonen’s superb lob gave Sweden a lead they held until half-time.

But Low’s team-talk at the break obviously struck a chord with the world champions, who levelled early in the second half through Marco Reus’ scrappy effort.

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Boateng’s dismissal threatened to unravel their efforts to get back into the match and it looked as though they would have to settle for a point that would have left their hopes of progressing from the group hanging in the balance, but, with the clock winding down, Kroos’ stunner sparked jubilant German celebrations and simultaneously broke Swedish hearts.

The result leaves Group F wide open with no team yet mathematically through. Mexico lead the way on six points, while Germany and Sweden are on three. South Korea have no points but can still go through if they beat Germany and other result goes their way.

First Published: Jun 24, 2018 01:51 IST