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Sweden pressure Germany with VAR-assisted 1-0 win over South Korea

Sweden 1 (Granqvist 65’ pen.)
South Korea 0

By Jesse Kemp-Segedin

Sweden has taken three crucial points in a video assistant referee (VAR) assisted 1-0 win over South Korea, which sees them join Mexico at the top of group of ahead of both Germany and South Korea.

Sweden’s goal came in the 62nd minute from the penalty spot with Andreas Granqvist sending the South Korean keeper the wrong way and slotting the ball into the bottom right.

The referee originally deemed Kim Min-Woo’s tackle on Viktor Claesson inside the penalty box as ‘play on’.

However, the game was stopped moments later, and the challenge reviewed with referee Joel Aguilar overturning the decision and handing Sweden the opportunity to take the lead, which Granqvist took with both hands.

The game started with South Korea looking the strongest, dominating proceedings for the first 10 minutes but failing to make use of their possession and field positions.

There were several early fouls from both teams, a theme which continued for the whole match seeing Sweden and South Korea accumulate 20 and 23 fouls respectively,

Sweden then began to control possession, with Marcus Berg missing the chance of the half firing straight at the South Korean keeper Cho Hyun-Woo when the ball fell to him in space 10 yards out.

South Korea still had opportunities, with a number of promising counter-attacks nullified by a combination of poor final passing and quality covering defence.

However, the score was locked at 0-0 at the half with both sides wasting opportunities.

The second half started much the same as the first ended, with Sweden dominating possession and creating the better chances.

Swedish danger man Emil Forsberg neatly worked some space at the top of the penalty box in the 49th minute but the winger sprayed his shot high and wide.

South Korea came close to taking the lead in the 52nd minute, with a quality Kim Min-Woo cross headed into the side netting by Koo Ja-Cheol.

Sweden was once more put on the back foot in the 59th minute, with Hwang Hee-Chan pouncing on a defensive error by Andreas Granqvist.

However, centre-back Pontus Jansson smartly read the danger and blocked the pass across goal.

Sweden finally took a deserved lead in the 62nd minute, as Andreas Granqvist safely slotting home the VAR awarded penalty.

The momentum of the game changed shortly after the goal, with Sweden sitting deeper defensively and conceding more possession to South Korea.

South Korea ultimately had a number of late chances to equalise but continued to fail at coming up with the final pass or finish.

Hwang Hee-Chan headed just wide in the 92nd minute, with the Swedish keeper Robin Olsen scrambling to try cover his far post.

South Korea was handed yet another opportunity in the 93rd minute with Swedish substitute Gustav Svensson clearing a ball for a corner while under no pressure.

The resulting corner was cleared away by Sweden but not before an appeal for handball was quickly, and correctly, waved away by the referee.

Seconds later the final whistle sounded with Sweden walking away 1-0 victors.

Match Statistics

Sweden: 56%
South Korea: 44%

Yellow Cards
Sweden: 1
South Korea: 2

Sweden: 15
South Korea: 5

Team line-ups

Sweden: 1 Olsen, 2 Lustig, 4 Granqvist (C), 6 Augustinsson, 18 Jansson, 7 Larsson (81’), 8 Ekdal (71’), 10 Forsberg, 17 Claesson, 9 Berg, 20 Toivonen (77’)
Substitutes: 5 Olsson, 11 Guidetti, 12 Johnsson, 13 Svensson (81’), 14 Helander, 15 Hiljemark (71’), 16 Krafth, 19 Rohden, 21 Durmaz, 22 Thelin (77’), 23 Nordfeldt

South Korea: 23 Cho, 2 Y Lee, 6 Park (28’), 19 Kim, 20 Jang, 19 Koo (72”), 16 Ki, 19 J S Lee, 7 Son, 9 S W Kim (66’), 11 Hwang
Substitutes: 1 S G Kim, 3 Jeong, 4 Oh, 5 Yun, 8 Ju, 10 S W Lee (72’), 12 M W Kim (28’), 14 Hong, 15 Jung (66’), 18 Moon, 21 J H Kim, 22 Go

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