Without Zlatan, Sweden Ruin South Korea's Effort to Win World Cup Opener

South Korea World Cup

World Cup: South Korean players swap training jerseys to confuse Swedish soccer spy

Sweden and South Korea face off in a Group F fixture on Monday.

Andreas Granqvist's VAR-assisted penalty handed Sweden a deserved 1-0 World Cup win over South Korea at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Monday.

Aguilar had originally waved play on after South Korea substitute Kim Min-woo collided with Viktor Claesson in the area. A more direct game worked for them to get to Russian Federation 2018, but coming up against a side in South Korea that were also willing to sit back, soak up pressure and hit on the break, the Scandinavians needed a bit of X factor, some flair.

Before the penalty, Sweden controlled the game and showed most of the attacking intent.

Marcus Berg had the best chance of the first half when he was put clear on goal in the 21st minute and had his close-range shot blocked by the right leg of Jo, South Korea's third-choice goalkeeper. It is now tied for first place in Group F with Mexico, which beat Germany 1-0.

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.

Luca Modric hoping World Cup opening win can give…
"We do not have to go insane , we deserved to win, but we have to improve a lot, now we have to be calm". Corners and penalties are part and parcel of football.

Illness kept defender Victor Lindelof out of the Sweden team.

The breakthrough came after 65 minutes as Sweden were awarded a penalty after video review. "I've experienced the U-20 World Cup and the Olympics".

KOREA REPUBLIC: Cho Hyun-woo, Lee Yong, Jang Hyun-soo, Kim Young-gwon, Park Joo-ho (Kim Min-woo 28'), Ki Sung-yueng, Lee Jae-sung, Koo Ja-cheol (Lee Seung-woo 72'), Hwang Hee-chan, Son Heung-min, Kim Shin-wook (Jung Woo-young 67'). They are winless in their last seven World Cup matches (D2 L5), losing their last three in a row. "Although this is my first World Cup, I don't feel any pressure or nerves".

Shin appeared pretty unfazed by Sweden's spying, though, suggesting such foul play nearly should be expected during soccer's biggest tournament. Granqvist (33y 63d) became the oldest player to score on his World Cup debut since Martin Palermo (36y 227d) for Argentina vs Greece in 2010.

Sweden got the break it needed from the video review system, and team captain Andreas Granqvist didn't waste the chance. Hwang is unmarked at the back post to meet a devilish corner from the left, but he inexplicitly heads wide from a matter of yards out. "If the players think that Swedish fans are also our fans, there can be no worries".

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