Sweden's height advantage gets to South Korea in World Cup

Sweden's height advantage gets to South Korea in World Cup

Sweden's height advantage gets to South Korea in World Cup

A VAR-awarded penalty gave Sweden a narrow but deserved victory in their opening Group F match against a poor South Korea on Monday (June 18).

Thousands of South Korean football fans who had gathered hopefully on the streets across the country fell silent after their team's uninspiring 1-0 defeat against Sweden in the 2018 World Cup.

In the 63rd minute, Viktor Claesson was impeded in the area by substitute Kim Min-woo, and although referee Joel Aguilar initially waved away the appeals, he reviewed the incident on a pitchside monitor, before pointing to the spot. The video assistant referees (VARs), in use for the first time in World Cup history here, ruled that Kim had committed a foul after all, as he appeared to have made contact with Claesson without ever touching the ball.

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

South Korea started off brightly with Hwang Hee-chan causing problems down the right but Son was largely anonymous and it was not until seven minutes after the break that the Red Devils created a chance worth the name.

Anchor: South Korea lost 1-0 against Sweden in its first game of the FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation on Monday.

Sweden are back in the tournament for the first time since 2006. The goal was Sweden's first at a World Cup in 12 years.

"We were anxious about the height of the players and I think we became a little bit too subdued". - The first shot in this match came after exactly 20 minutes - the second longest wait for a first attempt in a World Cup match since 1966 (20:59, Netherlands vs Costa Rica in 2014).

The victory left Sweden joint top of the group after Mexico's surprise 1-0 victory over world champions Germany on Sunday. "And once we got used to playing against taller defenders in the second half, we were hoping to penetrate behind their defense using our speed". He was constantly blowing up for every little infringement yet let Andreas Granqvist take out a counter-attacking Son Heung-min without showing him a yellow card.

The Germans were caught napping in the first half at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium and went behind in the 35th minute as Mexico found acres of space to counter attack through the midfield. Sweden faces the reigning World Cup champs on Saturday.

Granqvist admits they could have killed the game off sooner but hailed his side for showing the same resilience that got them through a two-legged qualification play-off against Italy.

Group F was blown wide open after Mexico beat Germany and both sides will now feel they have a strong chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

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