Sweden staged an amazing comeback from 0-4 down to earn a draw with Germany in Berlin, scoring four goals in the final half-hour – the last of them deep into stoppage time. Verbal volleysports Updated: Oct 18, 2012 01:33 IST
Sweden staged an amazing comeback from 0-4 down to earn a draw with Germany in Berlin, scoring four goals in the final half-hour – the last of them deep into stoppage time.
It was the first time in their history that Germany had lost a four-goal lead.
Decrying it as a "stupid record", German newspaper Bild said: "So beautiful, so brutal, so daft football can be!"
"60 Minutes Heaven, 30 Minutes Hell," the online edition of Der Spiegel said, commenting that Germany had had a "terrific victory in sight", but that after Sweden's four quick-fire goals: "All debate on the deficiencies of the German 11 will now start again."
Miroslav Klose scored two early goals as Germany, who had won their first three games in Group C, dominated for an hour before the comeback began.
"I have never seen a thing like this in an international," Sweden's coach, Erik Hamren, said. "Did we believe we could get a result at 3-0 down at half-time? No, no, there was no one who thought that."
Germany coach, Joachim Loew, was no closer to understanding what happened. "I don't know how to explain it," he said. "Normally we would not waste a four-goal lead. The problem seems to have been mental after 60 minutes. We became sloppy and lost our discipline."
Klose scored in the eighth and the 15th minutes, Per Mertesacker added another in the 39th and Mesut Ozil made it 4-0 in the 56th. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in the 62nd minute, Mikael Lustig and Johan Elmander scored before Rasmus Elm snatched the point with a goal two minutes into stoppage time.
"It was 11 different players who came out for the second half," Ibrahimovic said. "We played in a completely different way … I don't know how to describe it. We were too scared and had too much respect in the first half. After my first goal I felt they were backing off more and more."
Germany have failed to beat Sweden in five matches in Berlin, with two defeats and three draws. But from the start it looked like this would be an easy victory for the home side.
Germany's passing game dazzled Sweden and they opened the scoring after Marco Reus broke through on the left flank and fed Klose, who slid to volley home.
The second goal was even more impressive. Reus swapped passes with Mueller before passing to Klose at the near post. His first effort was stopped by Andreas Isaksson but he knocked in the loose ball. It was his 67th goal in 126 games for Germany, one behind Gerd Muller's record of 68
No celebrations for 100-up Ronaldo
There was to be no special celebration for Cristiano Ronaldo on his 100th appearance for Portugal as they had to rely on a 79th minute equaliser by Helder Postiga to force a 1-1 draw at home against 117th ranked Northern Ireland.
Ronaldo, who had started the night with a broad grin as he was presented with a special cap, exited the pitch in pouring rain with a furious look on his face.
First Published: Oct 17, 2012 23:30 IST