After suffering a heartbreaking and humiliating 1-0 loss to Mexico, Germany needed to regroup in order to avoid becoming the third straight team to crash out of the Group stage as the defending World Champions. Germany desperately needed a win against Sweden and they were able to get the job done in a thrilling fashion, thus keeping their hopes of advancing to the knockout stage alive.
Here are five things from the Germans’ clash with Sweden;
1. Toni Kroos saved the day: Deep into stoppage time of the closing minutes, Germany managed to earn themselves a free kick just outside of the penalty box. Kroos handled it and he caught the entire world off guard by passing it to a closeby teammate who immediately passed it back to him, allowing Kroos to launch a right-footed shot, scoring a goal, and giving Germany a 2-1 win.
2. Germany refused to settle for anything except a win: Another loss would have ended Germany’s title defense prematurely and because of their history of success, an early exit would stain their image. A draw would have only further risk an early exit, so Germany knew they had no choice but to go for the win.
3. Germany was focused and was able to stay focused: In the 32nd minute, Sweden scored to take a 1-0 lead, putting Germany in the similar stressful situation from their bout against Mexico. However, this time, things played differently as Germany was able to keep it together and keep their concentration to pull through and score the equalizer three minutes into the second half and eventually the decider in the closing minutes. Germany had lost their concentration in their opening game and it cost them the win. So it’s safe to say that Germany learned their lesson.
4. Germany taught the world an important lesson: That lesson was that a game is not over until the referee blows his whistle to announce that it is over. In the 82nd minute, Germany was forced down to ten players after defender Jerome Boateng was sent off. But Germany knew that just because one player was ejected it didn’t mean it was over because there was still time left on the clock. While the game was tied and it was on the verge of ending that way, Germany decided to keep going strong until that final whistle was blown and it worked out well for them. Germany showed the world that if you let your guard down even a tiny bit, it could end up being a crucial and costly mistake.
5. Germany refused to crack under pressure: After Sweden drew first blood, the pressure began to apply itself on Germany’s shoulders. But this time, Germany was able to find a way to alleviate the pressure before they cracked under its’ intense weight. Furthermore, Germany turned the tables on Sweden and they were able to put the pressure on the Swedes. Eventually, in the closing minutes, Sweden cracked under pressure and Germany took advantage.
Germany will finish out their group play on Wednesday against South Korea and Sweden finishes out against Mexico. If Sweden manages to defeat Mexico and if Germany beats South Korea, Germany will win the group, depending on goal difference.
If Mexico and Sweden battle to a draw and if Germany defeats South Korea, both Mexico and Germany will finish with seven points and the winner of the group will be determined on goal differential.
If Mexico beats Sweden, they’ll immediately win even if Germany defeats South Korea. This group is filled with chaos to say the least.