Defending world champions Germany played Sweden in a hard-fought thriller of a game in Group F.
The earlier results in the section were a shock 1-0 defeat for the holders against Mexico, a victory by the same margin for Sweden over South Korea and a 2-1 win for the Mexicans vs. the South Korea.
That meant that the Germans desperately needed a win to control their own destiny. A loss would completely eliminate them, while a draw would all but do so as well.
Very early on, they were the dominant team. But that phase did not last very long, much less did it result in a goal.
More than half way through the first period, German midfielder Sebastian Rudy was caught in the face by his opponent, Ola Toivonen’s shoe. He was on the sidelines, receiving treatment for minutes, before Ilkay Gündogan finally came in to replace him.
During the time of being a man short at that point, Germany was pushed back more and more. Soon after there were once again eleven Germans on the field, Toni Kroos lost the ball in midfield and Toivonen struck to give Sweden the lead, 1-0!
That was the score at the break. The German team started the second half at least as determined as they had the first. This time, it payed off.
Marco Reus equalized with his knee, after halftime substitute Mario Gomez sent Timo Werner’s cross his way,1-1!
Not much of note happened between then and the time when Jerome Boateng got his second yellow card, more than 80 minutes in and the Germans were reduced to ten men. Nevertheless, they pushed everything forward, had several chances and won the game 2-1 through a beautiful Kroos freekick in the last of five added minutes at the end.
A victory by at least two goals against South Korea would assure Germany a place in the last 16. Otherwise they will need help from Mexico against Sweden to make it.