Toni Kroos’ injury time free kick gave Germany their first win of the 2018 World Cup, as the reigning champions put themselves firmly back in the picture to qualify from Group F by beating Sweden in dramatic fashion 2-1 in Sochi.
Ola Toivonen gave Sweden the lead in the first half, before Marco Reus replied for Die Mannschaft shortly after half time.
Germany finished the game with 10 men as Jerome Boateng was sent off for a second yellow card in the closing stages.
It had looked as though Joachim Löw’s side would face an uphill task to reach the knockout stages with a draw, until Kroos stepped up in stoppage time to bend one into the top corner and send all of Germany into hysterics.
The result leaves Germany and Sweden deadlocked on three points each in the group, with Mexico on six ahead of the final fixtures. Germany face South Korea on Wednesday.
Looking for a response following defeat in the opening game, Germany came out aggressive in Sochi and dominated possession in the opening phases, which saw Marco Reus denied and several good positions squandered.
The sucker punch came midway through the half, as Toivonen was given time to take the ball down in the area before looping his effort over Manuel Neuer.
Germany's captain and number one had to be alert to keep out a goalbound effort before half time, and while Germany continued to pepper the Sweden penalty area, clear-cut chances were few and far between.
Mario Gomez was introduced for the start of the second half, and the striker’s introduction proved vital, flicking on a Timo Werner cross into the path of Reus to equalize three minutes after the restart.
Germany sensed blood, and were in the ascendancy fin the aftermath of the goal as Sweden retreated, hoping to hold on to a point that would have put them in the driving seat to advance to the last 16.
Their optimism for that point would have grown further with ten minutes to go, as Boateng received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Like last week against Mexico, Löw threw on Julian Brandt for the final stages, and when the Bayer Leverkusen forward hit the post for the second consecutive game, it looked as like time would run out once more for Die Mannschaft.
But there’s a reason #ZSMMN is the team hashtag for Russia, and after surging forward one final time to win a free kick, Kroos calmly curled a beauty beyond the dive of Robin Olsen before wheeling away in ecstasy to the jubilation of his team, coaching staff and Germans around the world.###more###