With a penalty kick awarded through a video review, Sweden earned a crucial win over Korea during their opening game for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On June 18, South Korea had their 2018 World Cup opening game against Sweden at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. While the team had a bright energy going on during the first 15 minutes of the game, the unfortunate accident with midfielder Kim Min-Woo handed a PK opportunity to Sweden. As a result, it led to a crucial goal for Sweden and resulted in a loss for Korea.
At first, Korea put a lot of pressure on Sweden. However, Sweden soon started to act on their offense, which led Korea to mostly be on the defense side, including their star forward, Son Heung-Min.
While both teams put a great effort into both offense and defense, the game was rather choppy. In the first half, the two teams resulted in 25 fouls in total, resulting in 39 by the end.
Furthermore, Sweden had a string of chances to score in the first half but Korea had a great defense. At the 20th minute, Sweden’s Berg took the opportunity and shot the ball, only to be blocked by Korea’s goalkeeper, Jo Hyun-Woo. Afterwards, Sweden missed most of their opportunities, while Korea received their first yellow card.
The turnover point was at the 66th minute, when South Korea’s midfielder Kim Min-Woo brought down Sweden’s Viktor Claesson in the box.
At first, the referee did not call an immediate whistle even though the Swedish strongly appealed. The game continued, until a VAR was called. After the video review, a PK was given to Sweden’s captain, Andreas Granqvist. Against Grangvist was Jo Hyun-Woo, South Korea’s goalkeeper who was a crucial player in this particular game, blocking many goal opportunities from the Swedish.
As a result, the penalty kick let the Swedish to earn a crucial win over Korea. The team had not won an opening game at a World Cup since 1958, making this win a special one. Furthermore, both South Korea and Sweden desperately needed a win from this game, in order to face the two favorites, Germany and Mexico.
Next, South Korea takes on Mexico, who shocked everyone with their win against Germany in the Group F opener.
Translated by Dasol Kim
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