Germany vs Sweden 2-1 Highlights 23 June 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018

The curse of champions nearly caught Germany like it caught Italy and Spain in the past two World Cups, but Germany cauterized the wound before the curse could kill them.

On Saturday, facing Sweden and elimination in their second group-stage game, Germany overcame a 1-0 first-half deficit with a pair of second-half goals, the second of which came in the final minute of stoppage time, to best Sweden by a final score of 2-1.

Germany needed all 95 minutes to get the result it needed. Now it heads into its final group-stage match against South Korea with an easier path to the knockout stages.

On the brink of disaster after an opening-match loss to Mexico, Germany entered its contest against Sweden on Saturday in desperate need of a response. Before kickoff, Mexico beat South Korea to improve its total to six points. Germany wasn't just looking up at Mexico and its six points in the Group F standings, it was also trailing Sweden and its three points. If Sweden won, Germany -- the defending champions -- would fail to advance from its group at the World Cup for the first time ever, which would also mark the third straight World Cup that's seen the reigning champs succumb in the group stage.

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