Joachim Löw, how did you feel when Toni Kroos scored the winner in the dramatic final seconds of the 2-1 win against Sweden?
Joachim Löw: I was unbelievably happy for him because he’d missed a pass which led to Sweden’s goal and it’s incredibly rare for him to make a mistake like that. He normally has a pass success rate of close to 100%. It was unlucky that it resulted in a goal. I was over the moon that he’d made up for it.
What did you like in the game?
Löw: I liked that we didn’t lose our nerves in the second half and we didn’t start playing in a hectic manner. We always believed that we could turn the game around. We were definitely a bit lucky that we managed to win in injury time with only ten men on the pitch, but we won through our character, by not giving up and by believing in ourselves.
A win which came just before the final whistle...
Löw: It was a thriller full of emotion – especially in the closing stages. We had Julian Brandt’s shot, which hit the post, the chance with Mario Gomez’s header. We tried everything in the last ten minutes and took off a defender despite being a man down. It was pure drama at the end of the game. But all do-or-die games at a tournament like this are balanced on a knife’s edge. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced something like this. It’s definitely great for the neutrals to watch.
Germany could face Brazil in the round of 16...
Löw: I can’t talk about that at the moment because nothing is certain yet. Different things could happen in the other group and we still have to beat South Korea. We’ll take things as they come, then it’s okay.
How will you approach the next “knockout” game against South Korea?
Löw: The players were exhausted after the game, Marco Reus had cramps ten minutes before the final whistle. Jerome Boateng is unavailable, Sebastian Rudy has a broken nose. We need one or two days to recover. Mats Hummels will likely be able to play, which would give us another option in defence.
Is the depth of the squad your biggest strength?
Löw: We have options and the squad is geared to let us exploit all possibilities. Those who haven’t yet played will definitely be needed. Also Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira – both will be needed going forwards.
24 June 2018
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