Sochi, June 24 (IANS) Tony Kroos produced a last-gasp winner as Germany revived their campaign with a 2-1 win over Sweden in a Group F match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup here. Ola Toivonen gave Sweden the lead with a superb finish in the 32nd minute during the match on Saturday. Germany displayed large doses of their famed fighting spirit as they staged a strong comeback in the second half.
Marco Reus (48th minute) got the equaliser early in the second half. Germany left everything to the last minute, scoring in the 95th minute, avoiding what could have been an embarrassing elimination from the World Cup in the group stage. The Germans felt disaster coming when Ola Toinoven scored the first goal in the 32nd minute, giving Sweden a 1-0 lead by halftime, Efe news reports.
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To Germany's relief, Marco Reus scored three minutes into the second half off a cross from the left by Timo Werner, giving his teammates the jolt of energy and confidence they needed. Germany soon took control of the match, achieving nearly 80 per cent possession of the ball and finding several clear chances to score, although the Swedish defence held the line. Even though Jerome Boateng received a red card in the 83rd minute, the Germans continued to play as one would expect from the former World Cup champions. (Check out the video highlights of the match here)
In the 89th minute, Germany's Mario Gomez was close to scoring with a superb header that was deflected by keeper Robin Olsen. It wasn't until the 95th minute that Germany sealed their 2-1 victory with a free kick by Toni Kroos from the left of the box, beautifully curling the ball into the far corner of the net. The rest of the game saw the Germans dominate as they created and wasted a hatful of chances.
The Swedish defence also did well, holding the defending champions at bay with some last-ditch defending. Kroos finally found the winner five minutes into the second-half added time when he curled in a free-kick at the far post. Sweden and Germany are now tied in Group F with three points each, while Mexico is in first place with six points and South Korea is last with zero points.
Germany has three points from two matches and will face South Korea in their final group engagement. Sweden, who had beaten the Koreans in their first match, remained on three points as well. They will take on Mexico in their third and final group match.