Kroos scores late to give Germany 2-1 win over Sweden

By AP |June 24,2018 - 08:51 PM

SOCHI, Russia — The desperate world champions from Germany were seconds from losing control of their World Cup fate when Toni Kroos whispered to Marco Reus just outside Sweden’s penalty area.

With the score tied in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Kroos seemed to remind Reus of a tricky set play from training that will live in World Cup lore.

Down to 10 men after Jerome Boateng was given a second yellow card, Germany rallied for a 2-1 victory over Sweden on Saturday to suddenly revive its title defense thanks to a strike from Kroos that caught the Swedes by surprise and won’t soon be forgotten in Germany.

Kroos lined up for a free kick as if he was going for goal but just tapped the ball to Reus, who held it with his toe as the defenders paused. Kroos swung his right foot, curling the ball past a spinning Sebastian Larsson and over the outstretched hand of diving goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

The Swedes watched the ball go in, mouths open in disbelief.

The Germans ran to Kroos and erupted in emotional relief.

Coming off an opening loss to Mexico, Germany fell behind again when Kroos’ early mistake led to Ola Toivonen’s goal in the 32nd minute

Reus equalized in the 48th. A point for a draw would have been enough to stay alive for the knockout stage, but the Germans would have needed help on the final day.

Now Germany has some control of what happens. Mexico leads Group F with six points, and Germany and Sweden both have three.

Mexico faces Sweden and Germany takes on winless South Korea in the final group matches.

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