Sweden have been left fuming after being denied what they insist was a “clear penalty,” in the heartbreaking stoppage time World Cup defeat to Germany.
Sweden’s coach Janne Andersson was left to lament a decision not to award his side a penalty after Toni Kroos’ sensational free-kick secured a last-gasp 2-1 World Cup win for 10-man Germany.
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Ola Toivonen’s goal put Sweden ahead in Sochi, and although Marco Reus restored parity at the start of the second half, Germany’s hopes hung in the balance until Kroos’ stunning 95th-minute effort after Jerome Boateng saw red.
The result was harsh on Sweden, who put in a superb defensive display and had their chances at the other end.
One such opportunity fell to Marcus Berg in the first half, only for Boateng to blatantly bundle the striker over as he raced into the area. However, referee Szymon Marciniak waved away Sweden’s appeals, while VAR did not appear to be used.
It proved difficult to take for Andersson, who said: “Let me start by saying that I haven’t watched it myself. I can only refer you to those on our team who have said it’s a clear penalty, maybe they are biased.
“But if we have the [VAR] system it’s very unfortunate that the referee can feel so confident in the live situation that he doesn’t go and have a look or investigate at all.
“It’s the decision the referee made so we have to live with it, so I don’t want to comment until I have seen it, but I trust the assessment of my own colleagues that this was a clear penalty.
“If we had got that penalty awarded that is possibly what we might’ve needed to cope with a team like Germany so the margins were against us to that extent.”
Despite Germany’s pressure, Sweden looked the more likely to claim a win when Boateng received a second yellow card in the 82nd minute, although Andersson refuted the suggestion his side took the score for granted.
“No, I don’t agree. It came at a late stage in the match. We were running so much, we were very tired,” he said.
“To have the energy to go full speed ahead was too much. We had the odd opportunity, we lost the ball where otherwise we could have created danger.
“But up until the free-kick we kept them under control, but it’s an extraordinary achievement that free-kick.
“This is probably the heaviest conclusion to a game that I have ever experienced in my career. But the group is still alive so we lick our wounds and come back for the next match.”
Sweden take on Mexico in their final group match, while Germany faces South Korea, who are yet to claim a point in Group F.