MX23RW : Monday, November 19 20:35:04

Result: Sweden grind out win against South Korea thanks to use of VAR

Result: Sweden grind out win against South Korea
© Reuters
Andreas Granqvist scores a second-half penalty, awarded through the use of VAR, as Sweden grind out a 1-0 win against South Korea in Nizhny Novgorod.

VAR came to the rescue of Sweden as they netted a second-half penalty to beat South Korea 1-0 in Monday afternoon's Group F clash at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

Andreas Granqvist's 65th-minute pen proved the difference in the end as the Blue-Yellow picked up their first opening-game win at a World Cup finals since 1958.

The big moment in the match arrived little over an hour in as the use of video technology saw referee Joel Aguilar pull play back and award Janne Andersson's charges a spot kick, from which Granqvist converted to send his side joint-top of the standings.

Sweden were in control of the match in the opening 45 minutes and created a couple of good openings, neither of which they were able to take.

Kim Young-gwon produced two impressive blocks inside the area to deny Marcus Berg and Granqvist, the latter of whom also shot straight at third-choice keeper Cho Hyun-woo towards the end of the first half.

Cho then stood firm to keep out Berg's effort from close range in the best chance of a first half that never truly got going, as Sweden's inability to convert - three goals in seven games prior to this one - threatened to haunt them.

Pontus Jansson, in for illness bug victim Victor Lindelof, also guided a header over the crossbar, as did Viktor Claesson in a frustrating first half for the Blue-Yellow.

Korea initially looked as though they would offer more in an attacking sense early in the second half, with Kim Shin-wook guiding a left-sided cross into the side-netting of Robin Olsen's goal.

Emil Forsberg and Ola Toivonen squandered good opportunities either side of that Kim opening, though, curling an 18-yard shot over the bar and directing a header right at Cho respectively.

Sweden's breakthrough goal eventually arrived 25 minutes from time thanks to the use of VAR, which saw referee Aguilar correctly rectify his initial call when substitute Kim Min-woo lunged in on Claesson inside the box.

Centre-back Granqvist nominated himself to take the penalty kick and rolled it to Cho's left, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way in the process.

Korea, competing at the World Cup for a ninth successive time, lacked an attacking threat all afternoon and barely offered anything in response.

The Taeguk Warriors' only other chance fell the way of Hwang Hee-chan, who planted a header over the crossbar from a promising position late on.

SWEDEN (4-4-2): Olsen; Lustig, Granqvist, Jansson, Augustinsson; Larsson (Svensson 81'), Ekdal (Hiljemark 71'), Forsberg, Claesson; Berg, Toivonen (Thelin 77')

SOUTH KOREA (4-3-3): Cho; Lee, Jang, Y.G Kim, J.H Park (M.W Kim 28'); Koo (S.W Lee 73'), Ki, J.S Lee; Son, S.W Kim (Jung 66'), Hwang

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The Sweden team line up before their friendly game with Denmark on June 2, 2018
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1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
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8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
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11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
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13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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