Toni Kroos rescued Germany’s World Cup hopes in dramatic fashion on Saturday, curling in a stunning free-kick deep in injury time to seal a 2-1 win against Sweden.
The defending champions were in desperate trouble when Ola Toivonen put the Swedes ahead in the first half and even though Marco Reus equalised shortly after the interval, Joachim Loew’s men could not find the goal they craved as time ticked away.
Germany’s task was made more difficult when key defender Jerome Boateng was sent off in the 82st minute for a second yellow card.
But Kroos stepped up in the 95th minute to curl a free-kick from the left edge of the penalty area into the top corner, beating the despairing dive of Robin Olsen, who had been outstanding in the Swedish goal.
The result in Sochi means Germany join Sweden on three points in Group F, with Mexico in the lead on six points after their earlier victory against South Korea, who have no points after two games.
The final games in the group on Wednesday pit South Korea against Germany and Mexico against Sweden.
Mexico showed that their shock defeat of Germany last weekend was no fluke with a 2-1 defeat of South Korea in Rostov-on-Don.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)