Korea fall to Sweden 1-0 in Group F showdown

Berg Bonucci Parolo Italy Sweden

Sweden opened their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over South Korea in Group F thanks to Andreas Granqvist's penalty, which was awarded after the use of video technology. He later signalled for a review by the video assistant referees, who determined that Kim committed a foul after all by tackling Claesson without touching the ball.

Coach Janne Andersson on Sunday tendered an apology.

He also completely missed the penalty but was rescued by the VAR system, which has so far proved to be completely correct - much to Swedish delight.

Sweden is now without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who retired after the 2016 European Championship and ultimately failed in a bid to make a comeback to the squad for Russian Federation.

Sweden now have the chance to all but knock Germany out of the tournament on Saturday, while South Korea face Mexico desperately needing a win to maintain their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

Shin has been keeping secret his lineup against Sweden, using different lineups in each of their World Cup tuneups.

Group F has already sprung one major surprise of the World Cup after Germany were beaten by Mexico on Sunday.

Korea, competing at the World Cup for a ninth successive time, lacked an attacking threat all afternoon and barely offered anything in response.

The matter does not seem to have fazed Korea coach Shin Taeyong, although he admits attempting to confuse onlookers at recent sessions by switching player numbers.

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Sweden went close again just before the hour but Jo saved well from a towering header from Toivonen.

Sweden were the better team and, if Marcus Berg had been sharper, they could have won the game more emphatically.

The 23-year-old has stayed behind at Sweden's team hotel and will take no part in the match.

Korea initially looked as though they would offer more in an attacking sense early in the second half, with Kim Shin-wook guiding a left-sided cross into the side-netting of Robin Olsen's goal.

South Korea: Cho Hyun-Woo (7), Lee Yong (7), Kim Young-Gwon (7), Jang Hyun-Soo (6), Park Joo-Ho (6), Lee Seung-Woo (6), Koo Ja-Cheol (6), Ki Sung-yueng (7), Lee Jae-Sung (6), Hwang Hee-Chan (6), Heung-Min Son (7).

He was unable to steer it past Jo in the Korea goal and Shin's team made it to the break on level terms.

If the South Koreans fail to beat Mexico and Germany, they will have gone two World Cups without a win and will be in danger of another humiliating return home.

Sweden 1 (Andreas Granqvist 65 pen) South Korea 0 at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.Crowd: 42,300 Referee: Joel Aguilar . "If the players think that Swedish fans are also our fans, there can be no worries".

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