Germany pulled off a spectacular comeback against Sweden as they won 2-1 on Saturday.
Right from the beginning, Germany amazed Sweden with their extremely quick pinpoint passing and Julian Draxler‘s shot was blocked from short proximity along with another left-footed effort which narrowly escaped the goal post. Sweden’s Emil Forsberg was pulled back by Thomas Muller on their first attack against the Germans but was denied a free-kick.
Janne Andersson‘s side was not given a deserved penalty kick. Viktor Claesson’s pass put Marcus Berg attack one-on-one against Manuel Neuer but Boateng tackled the Swedish striker to the ground without even touching the ball but yet again ref Szymon Marciniak overlooked the Swedes’ protests against this issue.
Germany faced a heavy blow by losing Sebastian Rudy when he went off after he was injured and was replaced by Gundogan. He collided with the Swedish forward Toivonen minutes which hurt his nose. Right after, the Swedish forward burst inside the box to control the cross passed by Claesson and lift his shot over Neuer into the furthest corner of the net scoring the first goal of the match.
Never write off the champions
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 23, 2018
German manager Low then traded Mario Gomez for Julian Draxler right in the beginning of the second half. Under three minutes of the substitution, Germany drew the score with Sweden. Timo Werner‘s cross aimed at Gomez discovered Marco Reus, who let his knee take control and transformed the cross into a beautiful goal past Robin Olsen into the bottom corner of the net.
Reus could have made the score 2-1 but he failed to touch Joshua Kimmich‘s low cross. Just 10 minutes before the end of the match, Boateng was compelled to leave the pitch after gaining two yellow cards in the same match. He tackled Berg in a dangerous manner that made him leave the pitch leaving the team with only 10 players. Olsen pulled a better save on the other end when Gomez’s intense header led Julian Brandt to slam a goal from an offside position that showed that the time was running out for the German team.
But in the end, Kroos made it possible as he struck a perfectly driven effort on the furthest corner of the net. This marked the first win for Germany in 2018 World Cup.
The Restoration of German Pride
When Kroos kicked the ball right into the upper right corner of the net, the park in Brandenburg Gate in Berlin erupted with happiness and alleviation.
Toni Kroos scores in the fifth minute of stoppage time to deliver Germany a 2-1 win over Sweden with the latest game-winning goal in regulation by Germany at the #WorldCup. #GER trailed 1-0 in a match that would have eliminated them with a loss. pic.twitter.com/GkXXULEr3L
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 23, 2018
This was the beginning of the return of hope and expectations of the Germans towards their national team and their players. The newspapers also mentioned it as an act of luck and the result of the German hope.
Back from the dead
Germany has not exited the World Cup at the group stage since 1948.
However, even if they got knocked out, it would not be much of a shock as 2010 champions Spain and 2006 victors Italy, both did not reach the round of 16 in the following tournament. France on the other hand completed at the bottom of their group in 2002 after winning the 1998 World Cup.
This group VERY interesting now.
If Sweden beat Mexico and Germany beat South Korea we will see a team be eliminated on 6 points via goal difference. Harsh. pic.twitter.com/nxLrzewKxl
— Spencer FC (@SpencerOwen) June 23, 2018
Yet we could all see the clear German dominance in the second half where they were determined to score and win, even after they were left with only 10 men on the pitch after Jerome Boateng was sent off with 2 yellow cards. The 3 points mean everything for the Germans.