Toni Kroos admitted that he took added pleasure from winning the game for Germany last night given the intense criticism the side has received recently.
Toni Kroos said his last-gasp winner to seal a dramatic 2-1 win for Germany over Sweden that kept the holders’ World Cup dreams alive made amends for his earlier mistake.
The midfielder’s mistimed pass led to Ola Toivonen’s first-half goal for Sweden and for a while, it seemed as though it was going to be a case of the same thing all over again following the holders’ unsuccessful start to the tournament.
However, Germany clawed their way back in Sochi with Marco Reus netting early in the second half before Kroos swung in a free-kick in the fifth minute of added time on Saturday.
“Of course, the first goal (by Sweden) was my fault. When you put in 400 passes in a game, then one or two won’t go where they should.”
After losing their opening match in Group F to Mexico, Germany next face South Korea in Kazan on Wednesday, targeting a win as they seek to progress from a group in which all four teams could still qualify.
“Now we have to recover and we don’t have much time before we have to beat Korea, when we have to play convincingly,”
Germany, who had centre-back Jerome Boateng sent off for a second yellow card on 82 minutes, were far from convincing.
The defending champions put in a nervous display after a barrage of criticism following defeat by Mexico.
Kroos took a thinly veiled dig at the German media and former players who had been sharply critical of the team over the past six days.
“We were criticised a lot, justifiably so in part, and a lot of people in Germany would have been pleased if we had gone out today. Overall, we once again had phases where we played really well and didn’t use our chances.”
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits by Cillian Cunningham)