MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 03:41:30

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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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