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World Cup: Germany's World Cup dreams remain alive with last-minute winner against Sweden

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Germany’s dreams of becoming back-to-back World Cup winners have been revived after Sweden conceded a late last-minute winner, bringing them back into contention for qualification for the last 16.

Group F has become the one to watch. There is all to play for in the closing matches of the qualifying round, with three of the four teams in the group remaining in contention to reach the final-16.

Ola Toivonen’s opening 32-minute goal fired Sweden into an unexpected lead, as the striker chipped the ball over the head of Manuel Neuer, forcing the Germans to chase remainder of the game.

As the first half drew to a close, it looked like the Germans had much to fear if the match were to end the way things were standing. The defending champions were staring elimination in the face from the world’s most prestigious tournament before it had even started.

As the Germans headed out on the pitch for the start of the second half, swapping in Mario Gómez for Julian Draxler. They appeared dangerous from the off, and it didn’t take long for the Germans to equalise.

Joachim Löw’s team talk clearly ignited some more passion into their style of play, as Marco Reus expertly slipped the ball past the Swedish keeper in the 48th minute.

With both teams all even on the scoreboard, frustration started to creep back into the Germans game as more and more fouls were being committed on Swedish players, with the Swedes looking more likely to contain the German advances.

Jerome Boateng finally received his second yellow card for an unnecessarily physical tackle on Marcus Berg and was sent off by the referee in the 82nd minute.

With the Swedish camp beginning their celebrations, with qualification looking more and more likely facing only 10 men, the Germans suddenly pulled an unexpected chance out of the bag in dangerous territory.

Jimmy Durmaz pulled down Timo Werner just outside the Swedish penalty area in the 95th minute of the game, with the tension in the ground mounting as Toni Kroos stepped up to the ball for the final kick of the game.

In an incredible free kick, Kroos fired the ball over the heads of the Swedish defence as it curled into the back of their net, bringing the reigning world champions back into contention for the final 16.

As the final whistle blew, the Swedes collapsed to the ground with the Germans celebrating as if they had already won the tournament.

The Germans have seemingly papered over the cracks of their shocking start to the tournament, being gifted a chance to improve as the tournament progresses.

This now means that Germany will have to beat South Korea and for Sweden to lose or draw to Mexico for the Germans to reach the final 16. The Swedes will be praying for the complete opposite result, but the likelihood of that is looking slim.

The rest of the world will surely be watching the outcome of the group as the underdogs look to cause a major upset by knocking the reigning champions out of the competition in a stunning turn of events.

Media Credit - Wikipedia Commons. FIFA 

The main feature image shows Germany's Jerome Boateng. 

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