Russia Watch: Germany saved embarrassment by late Kroos winner

Germany has come back from the brink of a humiliating early FIFA World Cup™ exit, scoring a stoppage-time winner to break Swedish hearts.

Elsewhere, Javier Hernandez scored a landmark goal as Mexico continued their dream start to the tournament, while Belgium put in a five-star display against Tunisia.

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It’s all here in our daily wrap looking at the results and news from the FIFA World Cup™ with our Russia Watch.


Toni Kroos was the hero for the reigning FIFA World Cup™ champions, scoring a dramatic 95th-minute winner to spare Germany’s blushes against Sweden.

After a shock loss to Mexico in their opening game, the Germans were on the cusp of being eliminated from the tournament as Ola Toivonen's superb lob had Sweden leading 1-0 at the break.

But German boss Joachim Low – who dropped Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira from the starting XI – must have produced a spirited half-time talk as his side came storming back.

Marco Reus levelled the scores early in the second-half but Germany’s hopes of finding a winner looked dashed when defender Jerome Boateng was sent off with just under 10 minutes left.

But the drama wasn’t over. In the final minute of stoppage-time, Kroos hooked a sweetly struck free-kick on the left into the far corner of the net from a tight angle to allow the Germans to breathe a huge sigh of relief.

The result leaves Group F wide open with no team yet mathematically through. Mexico lead the way on six points, while Germany and Sweden are on three, and South Korea still on zero.


Javier Hernandez hit his 50th international goal as Mexico edged closer to progression from Group F with a 2-1 victory over Korea Republic.

After Carlos Vela gave Mexico a half-time lead with a 26th-minute penalty, Hernandez reached his milestone moment midway through the second half.

The West Ham striker was on the end of a flowing counter-attack, drilling in his landmark goal to double his side’s lead and send the Mexican fans into delirium.

The Koreans, who had much more of an attacking threat than they did in the loss to Sweden in their opening match, didn’t find a route back into the contest until it was too late.

In the third minute of stoppage-time, Son Heung-Min struck a sublime 20-yard strike into the top-left corner to halve the deficit but it was too little, too late.

Mexico only needs a point in their final match against Sweden to top the group, while Korea Republic will need a near miracle to advance ahead of their final game against Germany.


Belgium flexed their muscles to all-but book their spot in the last 16 with a drubbing of Tunisia.

And it was big guns Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard that led the way, both scoring doubles in the 5-2 win over the African nation.

Roberto Martinez’s side was on top from the outset, ahead 2-0 inside 16 minutes before Tunisia pulled one back soon after.

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But after Lukaku got his second in first-half stoppage-time, the result was assured.

Hazard made it 4-1 early in the second half before Michy Batshuayi got his name on the scoresheet late-on, with Tunisia grabbing a consolation goal through skipper Wahbi Khazri in injury-time.

Belgium just need England to avoid defeat to Panama in Sunday's other Group G game to confirm their last-16 spot.