World Champions Germany produced a dramatic last-minute win over Sweden on Saturday night to open the door to the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup. DFB rounded up the reaction following the second group game.
Joachim Löw: It was a fortunate victory – to get it with 10 men in injury time – but I think it was deserved, because we kept believing in ourselves. We showed our character. I told the team at half time that they needed to stay calm and hold their nerve. I said we had enough time to to get forward and get in behind the Swedish defence to create chances. They only had a couple of chances, which came about because of our sloppy passing. I am so pleased for Toni Kroos getting the goal. We did not give the ball away as much as we did against Mexico and with our playing style we are susceptible to giving away goals from misplaced passes. But we put them under a lot of pressure, and created openings- The competition for places in the team will run through the tournament. We will need Mesut Özil and Mats Hummels would have loved to have played, but the doctor said it would be too dangerous. We need him because of his experience and class, and I am glad he will probably be back for South Korea. I think Sebastian Rudy has broken his nose. It started bleeding and did not stop, so we needed to get him out of the game. He might be able to play on Wednesday but we will have to see.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel: We created our own luck, and the better team got the winner in the last minute. We played much, much better than we did against Mexico. The team showed a reaction and were much sharper. There were a few frustrating errors, but we huffed and puffed and there was so much will there. I think it was clear that the changes Joachim Löw made were taken on board. The picture looks a lot different now, but it is far from done and dusted. We now focus on South Korea, but I think that will give us extra energy going forward. The coach has not made any firm choices with the starting XI; he collects information from training sessions, analyses and then decides. He has street smarts. We must replace Jerome Boateng, but Jögi will make the right decision.
Toni Kroos: What can I say? It was another game with highs and lows. We should have taken the lead after ten minutes. We put them under pressure, but we let it slide a little. You have to have guts to come out and produce a comeback like that in the second half. We fought incredibly hard and deserved the win. I get the impression that a lot of people would have been happy to see us go out today, but we won’t give them the satisfaction. We don’t have much time until the next game now, and we have to beat South Korea. We need to apply pressure from the off again there. The adrenaline and our quality should see us through.
Marco Reus: We were down to ten men for the last ten or fifteen minutes, but we never stopped playing football. What can I say about Toni’s goal? Simply world-class. There have been a lot of late goals at this World Cup and you need a little luck. We started quite well, but we didn’t have too many clear-cut chances. Sweden defended very well though; they were very compact. We knew that we would have use the width.
Thomas Müller: We threw everything at it and got our reward at the end. That’s what you always hope for, that you actually get rewarded when you just keep going. It felt like luck wasn’t on our side – Brandt hit the post and Gomez had a great chance. We didn’t do everything right though and their goal wasn’t good from our point of view. Sweden defended well, but we knew they would tire. That’s why there was more space towards the end. You can’t take a comeback like that for granted and it could be the turning point in this tournament for us – we’ll see. Hopefully there’s still a long way to go. Anything could happen yet, whether that’s the worst-case scenario or the best.
Team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff: I was slightly frustrated inside because the Swedes were playing for time from the very beginning. That was destructive and they were nearly rewarded for it. We were a little bit unsure, but showed great character. After a game like that you look at the positives, but the fact is that from time to time you get knocked out of your stride. That’s where we have to remain calm. You could see the character and the reaction of the team. This team is still alive. Everyone is up for this and we have enough quality. We have very good players on the bench too. Mario Gomez was also a big factor after coming on today as well.###more###