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3-min read

Sweden salvage stunning 4-4 draw against Germany

Sweden staged an amazing comeback to earn a 4-4 draw with Germany, scoring four goals in the final half-hour.

Associated Press

Updated:October 17, 2012, 1:36 PM IST
Sweden salvage stunning 4-4 draw against Germany
Sweden staged an amazing comeback to earn a 4-4 draw with Germany, scoring four goals in the final half-hour.

Berlin: Sweden staged an amazing comeback to earn a 4-4 draw with Germany, scoring four goals in the final half-hour in their World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday. Miroslav Klose scored two early goals and Germany dominated for an hour before Sweden came back from a four-goal deficit.

Sweden's coach Erik Hamren called his team's comeback "historical."

"I have never seen a thing like this in an international," Hamren said. "No I can't explain it." The draw left Germany with three wins and a draw in Group C — and their players at a loss of words to explain their collapse. Sweden has two wins and one draw, with a game in hand.

"I don't know how to explain it," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "Normally, we would not waste a four-goal lead. "The problem seems to have been mental after 60 minutes. We became sloppy and lost our discipline."

Klose scored in the eighth and in the 15th minute, Per Mertesacker added another in the 39th and Mesut Oezil made it 4-0 in the 56th. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mikael Lustig, and Johan Elmander scored in the second half, before Rasmus Elm snatched the point with a goal two minutes into injury time.

"It was 11 different players who came out for the second half," Ibrahimovic said. "We played in a completely different way. ... I don't know how to describe it."

Germany had never before squandered a four-goal lead. "It's very bitter," captain Philipp Lahm said. "Maybe we thought the game was already over. You concede the first goal, then the second and then everything falls apart."

Bastian Schweinsteiger said the Germans may have felt too secure with a four-goal lead. "I can't explain it. I've never experienced anything like this," he said.

The Germans remained winless against Sweden in Berlin in five matches, with two losses and three draws. From the start, it looked like this would be an easy victory for the Germans, who were coming off a 6-1 rout of Ireland on Friday, when Sweden labored to a 2-1 victory at Faeroe Islands.

Germany applied pressure from the kickoff, with Thomas Mueller hitting the post in the second minute. The passing game of Germany dazzled Sweden and Klose scored after Marco Reus had broken through on the left flank and fed Klose, who slid to volley home.

The second goal was even more impressive. Reus swapped passes with Mueller before passing to Klose at the near post. His first effort was stopped by Andreas Isaksson, but Klose knocked in the loose ball. With 67 goals in 126 games for Germany, he is only one goal behind Gerd Mueller's record of 68.

Mertesacker, the Arsenal defender, scored after Mueller headed from the far post across the goal. Isaksson picked up a yellow card for protesting loudly, since the ball had touched Klose's arm as the German move evolved.

Klose received a German fair-play prize before the kickoff for conceding that he had scored with his hand for his team Lazio against Napoli last month, leading the referee to annul the score. Klose said nothing this time.

Germany seemed on the way to a rout after Oezil had scored, with Mueller providing the pass to the far post. But Ibrahimovic scored with a header from a perfectly timed cross from substitute Kim Kallstrom, with the big Swede outsmarting Holger Badstuber and Philipp Lahm.

Two minutes later, Kallstrom sent another good pass behind the German defense and Lustig beat Badstuber to the ball to slip it past Manuel Neuer. Elmander latched onto a pass from substitute Alexander Kacaniklic, with defender Badstuber again out of position, to score at the near post as the Germans lost their composure.

Toni Kroos came close to securing a win but hit the post from long range in the 82nd. Tobias Sana, a late substitute for Sweden, missed an empty net after Neuer had dropped the ball under pressure from Elmander.

But Sweden got the equalizer, although the Germans were calling for a foul as Ibrahimovic appeared to elbow Mertesacker before the German defender unwillingly headed the ball down for Elm to slam into the net from 14 meters (yards) out.

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