Sweden pip S. Korea 1-0 in Group F game

Sweden pip S. Korea 1-0 in Group F game

Sweden pip S. Korea 1-0 in Group F game

Sweden's Andreas Granqvist (L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his team's winning goal against South Korea during their 2018 World Cup match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Novgorod, Russia on Monday.

Sweden's breakthrough goal eventually arrived 25 minutes from time thanks to the use of VAR, which saw referee Aguilar correctly rectify his initial call when substitute Kim Min-woo lunged in on Claesson inside the box. The ref had initially waved play on.

But after consulting the video, he pointed to the spot.

South Korea play Mexico in Rostov-on-Don on Saturday before meeting world champions Germany.

Sweden never really convinced that they would score prior to the penalty despite their domination and a toothless South Korea did not manage one shot on target.

South Korea had barely threatened, but Hwang Hee-chan missed a gilt-edged chance when he headed wide in extra-time.

There have been counter-claims that the Koreans also spied on the Swedes in the run-up to Russian Federation.

Son, South Korea's best player, switched from the left wing to the right and then back to the left again in an attempt to get something going.

But Kim was mostly ineffective and was lifted in the 66th minute.

Sweden's goal was the first they have scored in 402 minutes of worldwide football.

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Despite their increasing dominance, Sweden also demonstrated why they have struggled to score goals.Berg, again, and Claesson went close before the end of the half, but it was clear for everyone to see why they had only scored once in their four matches prior to Russian Federation.

The somewhat rancorous build-up to the game - where Sweden were accused of spying on their opponents - was increasingly reflected in the niggly nature of the match.

That's because both teams probably recognize how crucial their opener is with tougher tests later in group play in Russian Federation against defending champion Germany and Mexico. "And once we got used to playing against taller defenders in the second half, we were hoping to penetrate behind their defense using our speed".

South Korea coach Tae Yong-shin said he had no complaints over the penalty.

- South Korea are winless in their last seven World Cup matches (D2 L5), losing their last three in a row.

With holders Germany - smarting from their opening-game defeat - up next, this was a vital win for Sweden.

"I think it'll be tougher than today against [those] two teams.We need to be ready. mentally we need to be there".

Unfortunately, we did not follow that through.

Pontus Jansson, in for illness bug victim Victor Lindelof, also guided a header over the crossbar, as did Viktor Claesson in a frustrating first half for the Blue-Yellow.

After South Korea went behind, Son was moved centrally, but it was too late. Germany for me is one of the favorite teams and can win the World Cup.

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