Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, 17.06.2018
Reus 48., Kroos 90+5. / Toivonen 32.
In what was a make or break encounter in Sochi, Germany put themselves and their fans through the wringer in what was a pulsating evening in Sochi. Knowing that only a win would give them a realistic hope of not exiting the competition early, the team knew exactly what they had to do.
After a bright start, Jogi Löw’s side once again were caught napping at the back, allowing Ola Toivonen to give the Swedes a half-time lead. A stunning save from Manuel Neuer would prevent the Scandinavians from doubling their advantage, but at the break the world champions were right on the brink.
A far stronger second half was needed, and it would take just three minutes for the Mannschaft to find an equaliser. Marco Reus’s goal sparked the Germans into life, but the second goal still refused to come. When Jérôme Boateng was dismissed for a second bookable offence with less than eight minutes left, it looked as though the mountain was going to be far too steep to climb.
But this is Germany. As the match entered its death throes, they were first denied by the Swedish goalkeeper. Then the woodwork. Just as it seemed like it was going to be one of those evenings, the moment of magic arrived. A stunning free-kick from Toni Kroos, five minutes into injury time. It may not have been Germany’s greatest World Cup match, but it provided what was surely one of the most memorable and nail-biting moments.
Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Boateng, Rüdiger, Hector (87. Brandt) – Rudy (31. Gündoğan), Kroos – Müller, Reus, Draxler (46. Gómez) – Werner
Sweden: Olsen – Lustig, Lindelöf, Granqvist (c), Augustinsson – Larsson, Ekdal – Claesson (74. Durmaz), Forsberg – Berg (90. Kiese Thelin), Toivonen (78. Guidetti)
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Assistants: Paweł Sokolnicki (Poland), Tomasz Listkiewicz (Poland)
Fourth Official: Ryuji Sato (Japan)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Toru Sagara (Japan)
Video Assistant Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
Assistant Video Referees: Paweł Gil (Poland), Cyril Gringore (France), Paolo Valeri (Italy)
Yellow Cards: Boateng 71., 82. / Ekdal 52., Larsson 90+7.
Red Cards: Boateng 82. / –
Ball Possession: 71% / 29%
Attempts on Target/Blocked: 12 / 7
Attempts off Target: 4 / 1
Corners: 8 / 3
Fouls Committed: 12 / 13
Man of the Match: Marco Reus (Germany)