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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 14 December, 2018


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HAVING OPENED THEIR 2018 World Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Mexico, Germany will look to get their first victory of the tournament against Sweden tonight.

With the Mexicans getting the better of South Korea earlier today, they sit top of Group F on six points while the Swedes are on three and the Germans have zero as it stands.

Champions four years ago, Joachim Low’s side really need a result in Sochi if they are to progress to the knockout stages. They were well below-par first time out, however, so an improved performance is essential.

Kick-off is 7pm.

Low makes four changes to his side with Mesut Ozil dropped in favour of Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus. Jonas Hector, Antonio Rudiger and Sebastian Rudy also get called up in place of Marvin Plattenhardt, Mats Hummels and Sami Khedira.

For Sweden, who beat South Korea 1-0 in their first game, Victor Lindelof of Manchester United replaces Leeds United’s Pontus Jansson.

Germany: Neuer, Kimmich, Rudiger, Boateng, Hector, Kroos, Rudy, Muller, Reus, Draxler, Werner.


Sweden: Olsen, Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, Claesson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg, Toivonen, Berg.

So, how do you see it going?

Poll Results:

Flag 1Mins

Kick-off – Sweden, in their change strip of navy and yellow, get the game going. The Germans are wearing the traditional white and black kit.


A bright start from Germany, and they really should be ahead after just three minutes! An attack down the right produces the opportunity, and Julian Draxler shoots at goal from a central area. It’s blocked by a Swedish body and hacked clear, however.


A great run by Forsberg, who goes past a couple of Germany defenders but the RB Leipzig forward is eventually snuffed out. He complains that he’s been fouled, but no free-kick is given.


Draxler heavily-involved in good play for German again, putting the ball across the Swedish goalmouth, but there is no team-mate on-hand to tap home.

Moments later, Reus latches onto Kimmich’s ball and attempts to square his pass to Werner, but Lindelof puts it out for a corner.


What a chance for Sweden! A mistake by Rudiger gifts Berg an opening and he storms towards goal. Just as the striker is about to pull the trigger, Boateng gets a challenge in.

Replays show that it may actually have been a foul.


Penalty or not? What do you reckon?


Rudy is down receiving treatment after catching a trailing leg of Toivonen in the head. His nose is bleeding heavily, so he’ll have to go off and get cleaned up.


Substitution – That’s the end of Rudy’s game. The midfielder throws his shirt on the ground after being told that he won’t be going back on. Man City’s Ilkay Gundogan takes his place.

Flag 32Mins

GOAL! Germany 0-1 Sweden (Ola Toivonen) 

Sweden are ahead! Toivonen gets in between two German defenders and produces a super finish over Neuer to score the opening goal of the game.

Disaster for the 2014 champions!


Good save! Sweden goalkeeper Olsen gets behind a strike by Gundogan, which takes a deflection, and Lustig then prevents Muller from scoring with the follow-up.


Sweden cut through the German defence again, but it comes to nothing. That backline looks extremely vulnerable again, however.

Flag 46Mins

Second half – The Germans have brought on Mario Gomez for Draxler. It’s not an understatement to say this is a huge 45 minutes for them.

Flag 48Mins

GOAL! Germany 1-1 Sweden (Marco Reus) 

They’re level! Werner does the work out wide on the left, then fires the ball across and Reus arrives late to shin it home.


The goal has brought life to Germany and Kroos shoots from outside the box moments after the equaliser. It hits Lindelof and goes behind for a corner.


That was close. Kimmich sends a great ball into the danger zone, and Reus attempts to a backheel but he’s unable to make contact. Bad miss.


Sweden are under extreme pressure here as Germany have thrown bodies forward. Gomez misses a sitter from close range, but luckily, he’s ruled offside.


Booking – Boateng goes into the book after a challenge on Forsberg, while Sweden defender Granqvist comes close to scoring an own-goal.


Sweden changes – Claesson is off for Jimmy Durmaz, while John Guidetti replaces the goalscorer Toivonen.


RED CARD! Boateng is off after picking up his second booking and Germany are down to 10 men.


From the resulting free-kick, Granqvist rises to head on and Guidetti is metres from turning the ball home. Sweden may feel they can nick this with the extra man.


Germany sub – 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt is on for Hector. Leroy Sane would be a great option to have right now, but Low opted to leave him at home.


Fine stop! Olsen keeps out a header from Gomez and Germany are running out of time to bag a winner.


Five minutes of added time to be played.


OFF THE POST! Germany substitute Brandt drills a strike that hits the upright. Werner puts the follow-up over, but he’s offside anyway.

Flag 90Mins

GOAL! Germany 2-1 Sweden (Toni Kroos) 

Wow! There’s the winner. Kroos touches a free-kick to Reus, who stops the ball dead and allows the Real Madrid star to curl it over the wall and past Olsen. Cruel on Sweden but it’s a massive result for the Germans.

About the author:

Ben Blake


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