By Izuchukwu Okosi
Toni Kroos was the hero for ten man Germany as he scored a fantastic goal from a freekick that handed a 2-1 defeat to Sweden in Sochi on Saturday night.
The last two meetings before tonight’s matches between Germany and Sweden had produced a total of 16 goals; a 4-4 draw in Germany in 2012, along with a 5-3 victory for Low’s side in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Ola Taivonen scored Sweden’s goal in the 32nd minute with Kroos giving away possession while Germany’s Marcos Rues bundled home the equaliser three minutes into the second half.
Viktor Claesson lifted a ball over the top to Toivonen who took one touch with his chest before clipping over the top of Manuel Neuer.
Toivonen’s goal for Sweden was their first from open play at a World Cup since Freddie Ljungberg’s against Paraguay in 2006. Sweden had not beaten Germany in 40 years.
Sweden had to deal with enormous pressure from the Germans who faced an exit from the World Cup and captain Andreas Granqvist almost turned the ball into his team’s net but for the deflection off his keeper’s leg.
Jerome Boateng received his yellow card of the match eight minutes to full time and Neur saved a goal bound effort almost immediately.
Mario Gomez saw his 87th minute powerful turned away by an even better goalkeeping as Robin Olson turned away the ball for corner.
Julian Brandt struck a rocket of a shot that hit the post but Timo Werner’s follow-up was poor as he looped the ball in regulation time over the post.
Kroos then scored a cracking freekick to ensure a win over South Korea will be enough to qualify for the round of 16 stages.