Granqvist penalty earns Sweden win over South Korea

South Korea World Cup

Marcus Berg had a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Sweden in the 20th minute after the ball broke to him in the penalty area but he fired straight at goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo from close range.

Sweden reached Russian Federation by beating France in a group game on the way to finishing above the Netherlands in the table and reach the play-offs, when they overcame Italy.

South Korea haven't lost their opening group stage match in the past four World Cups, dating back to 2002, with three wins and a draw.

What: Sweden will play South Korea in Group F play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Andersson will now shift his attention to the Germany game on June 23, where Sweden could potentially deal a fatal blow to the world champions' hopes of staying in the tournament.

Referee Joel Aguilar didn't think there was a foul on the play in the box, and play went on for a few moments before Aguilar signaled for a review.

There is a real sense of unity with this team, undistracted by the charisma and overall dominance of Zlatan and coach Janne Andersson has some optimism that the Swedish side he has overhauled since Euro 2016 can upset the odds and make their way to the knock-out rounds. "If we win against Germany, we are through. It was a good game out there, an honest fight between two good teams". Sometimes, there was tension within the team, and sometimes the atmosphere got too light, so I tried to balance the two.

South Korea started the game brightly, forcing the first corner in the fourth minute, but were gradually forced back by an attritional Swedish side.

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However, they arrived in Russian Federation without a goal in their previous three matches and without Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his retirement from worldwide football. 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F Points Table.

Sweden: Granqvist was inspirational for Sweden, but the team still missed chances up front and that needs to be addressed before the match against Germany. It was a novel tactic.

"Korea have more experience than Sweden". It may well be a little unfair to heap all the weight of expectation and responsibility onto the shoulders of one player.

"It took a long vehicle journey up the mountains to reach the house, but it was a flawless spot to observe the Korean team's training", Lars Jacobsson, a member of the Swedish coaching staff, said yesterday.

Against Sweden, he was wasted. Their best chance came in the first minute of stoppage time.

The Sweden striker should have scored to capitalize on a half which consisted of eight attempts on goal by Sweden compared to South Korea's one.

He did get a chance to burst down the right in the 35th minute and sent in a unsafe cross, but there was very little of note from the 25-year-old apart from that.

Though not the most attractive of games, there was a terrific atmosphere in the 42,300-strong crowd at the blue-and-white Nizhny Novgorod stadium next to a cathedral at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers.

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