Swedes off to dull winning start


Photo: FIFA.com

Swedes off to dull winning start

Sweden 1 : 0 South Korea

Sweden needed a 65th minute penalty by Andreas Granqvist in Nizhny Novgorod to settle an uninteresting opening game. In contrast to the fireworks of the other game in this group, Germany v Mexico, this affair will not be remembered for very long.

It took 20 minutes for the first shot to occur, a record wait in the Finals so far.  Referee Joel Aguilar did not initially award the penalty after Viktor Claesson was brought down by Kim Min-Woo, but a VAR review overturned that and  Granqvist hit the penalty into the lower right corner with Korean keeper Jo Hyeon-Woo diving the opposite way.

There were a combined total of 38 fouls which broke up any chance the game had of flowing. South Korea’s only real chance to equalise came in the 92nd minute, when Hwang Hee-Chan’s header went wide.

The South Koreans have failed to beat Sweden in their last five meetings and rarely looked like breaking that run. The Swedish goal however goal broke a run of 405 minutes since they last scored. That was in a 2-1 loss to Chile in March.

Both sides have Germany and Mexico to play and will have to do considerably better to not be leaving before the knockout rounds.


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