Last-minute win keeps Germany's last 16 hopes alive

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Unbelievable! With virtually the last kick of the game, ex-Bayern man Toni Kroos put Germany back on course for the last 16 of the World Cup as his goal in the fifth minute of added time secured a much-needed 2-1 win over Sweden. It means that Die Mannschaft are level with Sweden on three points in Group F ahead of their final group game against bottom side South Korea. Mexico top the group with six points.

Coach Joachim Löw included five Bayern players in his starting line-up in Sochi, with Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Jérôme Boateng and Joshua Kimmich keeping their places in the side and Sebastian Rudy brought in. Mats Hummels missed out due to a neck injury, while Niklas Süle didn't feature. The world champions started strongly but as the game went on, defensive frailties began to appear once again.

Reus and Kroos with all-important goals

Manuel Neuer had to rescue his side twice in the first half but he could do nothing to prevent Ola Toivonen's opening goal in the 32^nd^ minute. Shortly before that, Rudy had been forced off with a heavy nosebleed after being struck in the face by a Swedish foot. Minutes into the second half, though, Marco Reus scored a deserved equaliser.

Germany created several good chances after that but could not force the ball in, with Julian Brandt hitting the post in injury time. A draw would've left the team's qualification hopes hanging by a thread. However, in the fifth and final minute of added time they were awarded a free-kick, from which Kroos whipped a fantastic shot into the far corner of the net, sparking wild celebrations.

Centre-back Boateng will miss Wednesday's encounter with South Korea after being shown a second yellow card in the 82^nd^ minute for persistent foul play.


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