NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (Reuters) - Skipper Andreas Granqvist coolly converted a 65th minute penalty awarded after video review to hand Sweden a 1-0 victory over South Korea in a scrappy Group F encounter at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Monday.
A match both sides were desperate to win after Mexico stunned Germany in the group opener was decided when Viktor Claesson went down from a challenge by Kim Min-woo with referee Joel Aguilar pointing to the spot after checking the footage.
Swedish striker Marcus Berg had the best opportunity to break the deadlock from open play but side-footed the ball into the knee of South Korea goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo from point blank range in the 21st minute.
Cho, a surprise selection between the posts, will take credit for that reflex save, and another early in the second half that denied Ola Toivonen, but was sent the wrong way by Granqvist’s penalty.
Writing by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Hugh Lawson