Germany came back from the brink of a humiliating World Cup exit as Toni Kroos scored a sensational stoppage-time winner to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden.
Kroos found the net with a wickedly curling set-piece in the 95th minute of a game that brought out the best and worst of Joachim Low's world champions, who were reduced to 10 men when Jerome Boateng was sent off with eight minutes remaining.
It capped a dramatic turnaround in a match that Germany could not lose after Die Mannschaft were beaten by Mexico in their opening Group F game, but such a scenario was on the cards when Ola Toivonen's superb lob gave Sweden a lead they held until half-time.
But Low's team-talk at the break obviously struck a chord with the world champions, who levelled early in the second half through Marco Reus' scrappy effort.
Boateng's dismissal threatened to unravel their efforts to get back into the match and it looked as though they would have to settle for a point that would have left their hopes of progressing from the group hanging in the balance. However, with the clock winding down, Kroos' stunner sparked jubilant German celebrations and simultaneously broke Swedish hearts.
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.
Germany dazzled Sweden with lightning-fast passing in the opening exchanges and Julian Draxler had a shot blocked from close range before he toe-poked a left-footed effort narrowly wide from a tight angle soon after.
Emil Forsberg was pulled back by Thomas Muller on Sweden's first foray into German territory but no free-kick was given and, after Victor Lindelof cleared a Reus cross away from danger, Janne Andersson's men were denied what looked like a clear penalty.
Viktor Claesson's pass put Marcus Berg through one-on-one with Manuel Neuer when Boateng appeared to bundle the Sweden striker to the ground without playing the ball, but referee Szymon Marciniak ignored Sweden's ardent protests.
Germany lost Sebastian Rudy when he left the field with a bloody nose after a collision with Toivonen moments before the Sweden forward landed another blow as he burst into the box to control a Claesson cross on his chest and lift his shot over Neuer into the far corner of the net in some style.
Substitute Ilkay Gundogan and Berg exchanged dangerous long-range shots at the end of the first half and Low sent on Mario Gomez for Draxler at the start of the second half.
Less than three minutes later Germany drew level when Timo Werner's cross evaded Gomez but found Reus, who met it with his knee and turned the ball beyond Robin Olsen and into the bottom corner of the net.
Low's men did not stop there, and Muller headed narrowly wide before Jonas Hector forced Olsen into a good save to keep the scores level.
Reus should have made it 2-1 when his attempted back-heel failed to connect with Joshua Kimmich's low cross.
With just under 10 minutes left, Boateng was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Berg, and Neuer then made a dramatic one-handed save to deny substitute John Guidetti a winning goal with a downward header.
Olsen pulled off an even better save at the other end, parrying Gomez's powerful header over the crossbar, and Julian Brandt crashed a thunderous shot onto the post from an offside position as time looked to have run out on Germany.
But Kroos hooked a sweetly struck effort from a well-worked free-kick with Reus on the left into the far corner of the net from a tight angle to allow his country to breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Key Opta stats:
- Germany came from behind at half-time to win a World Cup match for the first time since 1974 – which was also against Sweden.
- Toni Kroos' winning goal after 94 minutes and 42 seconds was the latest goal scored by Germany in World Cup history (excluding extra-time).
- Sweden's Ola Toivonen failed to score in 23 Ligue 1 games for Toulouse in 2017-18, attempting 19 shots without success – he scored with his second shot at the 2018 World Cup.
- This was the first match at a major international tournament (Euros and World Cups) that Mesut Ozil had not started for Germany since he made his debut in 2010, ending a run of 26 consecutive starts.
- Sweden have lost a World Cup group stage match for the first time since June 1990, when they lost to Costa Rica – this defeat ends a run of 10 group games unbeaten.
|Brewers´ Yelich active after elbow hit|
|Anthony on coming off Rockets´ bench: Whatever I have to do to help this team win|
|Raiders coach Gruden says Mack trade was hard on players|
|Bale lauds ´unbelievable´ Modric after FIFA Best triumph|
|New Zealand the benchmark but England can win World Cup - Mitchell|
|FIFA Best Award a dream come true for Modric|
|Lakers a long way from Warriors, warns LeBron|
|Milner pokes fun at Salah´s Puskas Award win|
|Josh Rosen to replace Sam Bradford as Cardinals starting quarterback|
|Kaymer: Home-course advantage crucial to Europe hopes|
|Marta and Pedros win FIFA Best awards|
|I want to be in Toronto - Kawhi Leonard focused on Raptors, not future|
|Messi and Ronaldo lead FIFPro World XI as Salah and Neymar miss out|
|Knicks´ Kristaps Porzingis ´itchy´ to return but won´t commit to 2018-19 season|
|Modric beats Ronaldo and Salah to FIFA Best prize|
|49ers confirm ACL tear for QB Garoppolo|
|Salah beats Bale and Ronaldo to Puskas Award|
|Deschamps wins FIFA Best Men´s Coach award|
|Law to leave Windies for Middlesex role|
|Sunderland terminate Ndong´s contract|
|Spalletti warns rejuvenated Inter against complacency|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Figo in town as USA arrive in style|
|Browns name Baker Mayfield starting QB|
|Chelsea need to be more versatile, warns Giroud|
|Paris Saint-Germain FFP case referred by UEFA back to CFCB Investigatory Chamber|
|Busy Bertens ready for bed, Muguruza gains Wimbledon revenge|
|Hart ready if England come calling - Dyche|
|Ryder Cup 2018: An honour and a burden - the unique challenge of captaincy|
|Hibino beats Bouchard again at the Tashkent Open|
|Falcons lose Ricardo Allen for season|
|Mbappe three-match ban stands following appeal|
|Tomic wins first Tour-level match since Wimbledon in Chengdu|
|Ryder Cup diary: Scoreboard shocker, captains tight-lipped|
|Mourinho will spawn lots of managers - Lampard|
|Furyk outlines Woods´ Ryder Cup motivation|
|Tiger doesn´t scare Team Europe - Bjorn|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team USA profile|
|Woods winning ´incredibly special for golf´, says Poulter|
|Grealish commits to Aston Villa with five-year deal|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Team USA will win|
|Herrera ready for return - Mourinho|
|Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Usyk|
|Lewandowski and Boateng´s professionalism impresses Kovac|
|WATCH: Sheepish Murray comically drops commemorative plate in China|
|Cech: Arsenal have forgotten how to win Premier League titles|
|Lemar must adapt to Atleti style, says Simeone|
|Toulon to appeal suspended points penalty|
|AFE rejects Miami plan for Girona-Barca|
|Messi and Ronaldo to decide world´s best young player|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Talisman Poulter key to European hopes|
|Pogba hits out at critics who ´create drama´|
|Barcelona to appeal Lenglet red card|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team Europe profile|
|Patriots´ Gronkowski threatened to retire if traded to Lions|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Europe will win|
|Tigres and Monterrey condemn violence that leaves fan in intensive care|
|Williams baffled by coach´s claim he sent her US Open final signals|
|Ryder Cup 2018: A sporting spectacular you cannot afford to miss|
|Cricket Australia closes investigation into Moeen claim|
|Zlatan impressed by ´MVP´ singer|
|Modric hoping to complete FIFA and UEFA double at Best Awards|
|Mickelson never doubted Woods would win again|
|Woods looked like Tiger of old in 80th PGA Tour win|
|Chelsea were too slow against West Ham - David Luiz|
|Tottenham star Kane acknowledges sub-par start|
|Rashid signs one-year all-format deal with Yorkshire|
|Brady and Patriots crash to back-to-back defeats|
|Gundogan looking forward to ´real test´ against Liverpool|
|Cubs move closer to clinching NL Central|
|Valverde bewildered by Lenglet red card as Barca boss questions VAR|