Germany scrape vital win after classy Kroos sinks Sweden in injury time

Germany hit back to beat Sweden 2-1 in their World Cup Group F showdown, thanks to a moment of injury-time brilliance from Toni Kroos.

Joachim Low’s side trailed 1-0 to Ola Toivonen’s neat 32nd minute finish in Sochi’s Fisht Stadium – but hit back to claim victory and a 2-1 success success thanks to a opportunist Marco Reus strike on 48 and a moment of absolute quality from experienced midfielder Kroos.

It leaves Joachim Low’s side knowing a win over South Korea in their final Group F match will see them progress.

There was no sign of the difficulties to come during an opening half-hour which Germany totally dominated with Sebastian Larsson clearing Draxler’s shot off the line in only the third minute.

For the first time since Euro 2008, Mesut Ozil was dropped from the starting line-up at a major tournament with Reus, making his first World Cup start, one of four changes.

Neck problems ruled out centre-back Mats Hummels with Marvin Plattenhardt back on the bench as Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Cologne’s Jonas Hector came into defence, with Sebastian Rudy for Sami Khedira the other new face.

Such was Germany’s control after 20 minutes they had enjoyed 84 per cent possession with Sweden managing just 27 passes – compared to their opponents’ 209.

But it was not without a scare as, controversially, the backtracking Boateng appeared to catch Marcus Berg as he raced through on the counter-attack.

It was enough of a touch to allow goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to make a block and Polish referee Szymon Marciniak was in no mood to either award a penalty or consult VAR.

Germany found themselves playing with 10 men for five minutes after Rudy was forced off with a bloody nose after an accidental boot in the face and was eventually replaced by Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan on the half-hour.

But then Kroos gave away possession in the centre-circle and seconds later Toivonen chested down Viktor Claesson’s cross and with his second touch lobbed a shot over Neuer and inside the far post.

The 31-year-old scored only two goals – both in the French League Cup – for relegated Toulouse last season.

Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen’s brilliant one-handed save from Gundogan and follow-up block to deny Thomas Muller kept them ahead and Berg could have doubled their lead in added time with Neuer diving to stop his header creeping inside the far post.

With their World Cup slipping away Mario Gomez replaced Draxler for the second half and within 90 seconds Germany were level when the injury-blighted Reus turned home Timo Werner’s cross for his first international goal in more than three years.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder was inches away from backheeling in a second as Germany sensed their opportunity but a second yellow card for Jerome Boateng saw them play the last eight minutes with 10 men.

Olsen produced a superb one-handed save to deny Gomez and a post kept out substitute Julian Brandt’s long-range strike in added time but there was no denying Kroos at the death.