2018 World Cup: Germany's Dream To Repeat As Champions Still Alive With Comeback Win Over Sweden

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jun 25, 2018 07:33 AM EDT
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Germany kept its title defense alive with a tough 2-1 win over Sweden in their Saturday's World Cup Group F clash at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. Toni Kroos scored the game-winning goal with seconds remaining in stoppage time as the 10-man Germans revived their chances of advancing to the knockout stage.

The Germans' title defense was put in peril after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Mexico in their opening game. However, the Germans' win over Sweden put their campaign back on track.

Currently, Germany and Sweden are tied for second in Group F with three points each. Mexico leads the way with six points, coming from wins over Germany and Korea Republic. Korea, for its part, is out of the tournament after losses to Mexico and Sweden.

After the win, Kroos slams some critics of the team back home who want them eliminated early from the tournament. Kroos said the team is determined not to make those critics back in Germany happy.

"I had the feeling that a lot of people would be happy in Germany if they eliminated us, but we are not going to make it so easy for them," Kroos said. "We will not be sent to the streets easily."

Germany Eyes Crucial Win Against Korea Republic

The Germans will try to avoid the fate of the last three defending champions when it takes on Korea Republic on Wednesday in Kazan. Sweden, for its part, will play Mexico in Yekaterinburg.

The last four defending champions of the event failed to defend their titles. The three failed make past the group stage, while Brazil, the 2006 champion, was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

After their loss to Mexico, Germany coach Joachim Low made some several changes to his lineup against Sweden. Low dropped World Cup veterans Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira from his starting cast and inserted Marco Reus and Sebastian Rudy.

Germany Fell Behind Early

Germany was aggressive from the start as it had several scoring opportunities, but the defending champion capitalized. Then things became gloomy for the Germans as they fell behind, 1-0, after Ola Toivonen's goal in the 32nd minute.

However, the Germans recovered in the second half behind Reus' tally in the 48th minute. Germany suffered another setback when Jerome Boateng was ejected after he was shown a second yellow card in the 82nd minute

In the final minute of stoppage time, Germany got a break when Timo Werner was brought down in the penalty area. Kroos never let the chance go to waste as he curled a kick past goalkeeper Robin Olsen for the win. After the match, a skirmish ensued between several players from both sides in the sidelines. However, the fight was stopped before it escalated.

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