Soccer teams sometimes get by with a little help.
That was the case Monday morning when Sweden defeated South Korea 1-0 in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F opener.
Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist scored a penalty-kick goal in the 65th minute, after the referee consulted the game video and determined he should award a spot-kick based on the previous sequence.
Sweden is sitting pretty after its first World Cup 2018 game.
Sweden vs. South Korea undoubtedly was one of the most physical games you’ll see at the 2018 World Cup, with the teams committing 43 fouls combined. Their respective approaches led to a choppy game in which neither side played with much rhythm.
Fans had to wait 20 minutes before witnessing the first shot of the game and 65 until one team scored.
The goal came after South Korea’s Kim Min-woo tackled Viktor Claesson inside his own penalty area. Kim touched the ball on the tackle, but the referee reviewed the replay, determined the South Korea defender had committed a foul and awarded Sweden a penalty kick.
(The foul in question comes at the 1:25 mark in the video below.)
Sweden captain Granqvist converted the spot-kick with authority. The goal was Sweden’s first at a World Cup in 12 years.
Sweden’s well-organized defense comfortably contained the attack of South Korea, which failed to muster much of a response to Granqvist’s goal, and the game petered out over the last 20 minutes.
Man of the Match: Granqvist, the goal scorer and Sweden’s on-field leader, was voted the game’s standout player.
Next up: South Korea will play Mexico at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, while Sweden will face Germany at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday in the teams’ second of three Group F games.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport/USA TODAY Sports Images
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