Toni Kroos kept Germany’s 2018 World Cup hopes alive by scoring a dramatic late free-kick against Sweden on Saturday night.
The reigning world champions were on course to crash out of the tournament after Ola Toivonen put the Swedes 1-0 up at half-time. However, Marco Reus gave Joachim Low’s side hope by equalising shortly after the break.
A draw still would have left Germany on the brink of a shock World Cup exit, but Kroos’s magnificent free-kick from an acute angle sealed his nation all three points.
Germany, who were beaten by Mexico in their opening match, will now advance to the knockout stages if they defeat South Korea on Wednesday.
Confidence in the German camp will surely be sky high after this latest victory and the bookmakers now have them priced at 7/1 to retain the World Cup.
"Something I did appreciate today is that we didn't lose our nerves and break out in panic after conceding a goal. We kept a level head," Low was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"We never lost hope. Obviously the goal we scored in stoppage time was a bit lucky but it is always a result of our belief in ourselves."
How one punter missed out on over £5,000
No doubt Kroos’s late goal also salvaged quite a few bets. Everyone knows the old adage about never writing off the Germans. It’s a cliche because it’s true.
However, one unfortunate punter ended up missing out on an absolute fortune when Kroos’s free-kick flew past Robin Olsen.
Lee Robinson - @popbobbins on Twitter - went for the following treble on Saturday: Mexico to beat South Korea 2-1, Romelu Lukaku to score a brace against Tunisia and Toni Kroos to score outside the penalty area against Sweden.
The first two parts of the bet came in - and poor old Lee must have thought he’d hit the jackpot from his £5 bet when Kroos’s free-kick hit the back of the net.
Replays showed the ball was inside the box
However, replays showed the ball was actually just inside the area when Kroos struck it. Marco Reus had teed up his teammate with a little touch and the ball had rolled inside the box.
This is surely one of the heartbreaking bets of all time. Some people are even calling on SkyBet to pay out on this occasion.
However, it’s safe to assume that SkyBet have no intention of listening to those optimistic calls. Rules are rules and Kroos scored from inside the penalty area - not outside of it.
Should SkyBet pay out on this occasion? Let us know by leaving a comment below.