Twitter reacts to Germany's game-winning goal against Sweden

GK Manuel Neuer

Yet the Germans sit with three points after Saturday's 2-1 victory over Sweden and a chance to avoid what befell Italy and Spain, the previous two defending champions who failed to advance from the group stage.

"I said before the game that Reus would score", said a beaming Dieter Mann, a 60-year-old tour guide with Germany flags stuck to his head.

And certainly after going down to 10-men, Kroos' curling strike in the fifth minute of stoppage time to secure Germany's win was unexpected.

When the referee blew the final whistle, Toni Kroos fell to his knees and began to punch the ground, knowing that Germany won't be sent packing from the World Cup in Russian Federation without putting up a fight.

But Marco Reus drew the world champions level early in the second half and a last-gasp victor from the boot of Toni Kroos brought the Germans the win they desperately needed in the most dramatic fashion.

Defeat would have meant the earliest elimination for the four-times champions since 1938, and the criticism awaiting the team, who lost their opening match to Mexico, would have been massive in the soccer-mad nation.

In quite possibly the most remarkable finish to a 2018 FIFA World Cup game yet, Germany scored a dramatic late victor to defeat Sweden and move closer to salvaging a disappointing start to their defense of the title. "I hope they will be able to restore their confidence and fight a bit more in the last game".

"All I am saying is people behaved in ways you don't, you cheer when you win, you leave the opponents to feel sad, you don't react in the way they did".

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"Happy of course. It was a tough game again today for us", Kroos said.

Sweden could not get out of their own half as Germany piled forward at every opportunity but Mario Gomez contrived to lash the ball over the bar from five yards out.

"It was the right decision to pick him and drop Mesut Ozil".

Germany coach Joachim Loew said he was not aware of any taunting.

Defender Mats Hummels was out of action with a neck injury, Jerome Boateng was sent off in the second half and Thomas Mueller did little right on the evening.

But their place in the last 16 should already be guaranteed by then with Martinez promising to ring the changes and they may even prefer to finish second in Group G.

"We've talked about what happened", Gomez said. We will need a couple of days to recover.

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