Germany and Sweden played out another eight-goal thriller with Joachim Low’s side, inspired by an Andre Schurrle hat-trick, this time coming out on top with a 5-3 win in Solna. With Germany having already secured top spot in Group C and Sweden confirmed in second place and a spot in the playoffs, there was nothing riding on the match. Yet, that fact had no bearing on the entertainment on display.
While it was Germany who ran out to a 4-0 lead 12 months ago, this time it was Sweden that got the fast start. After just six minutes Sebastian Larsson’s pass cut Germany’s defense wide open and Tobias Hysen slid the ball past Manuel Neuer. After 42 minutes it was 2-0, with Germany’s center-back pairing of Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummel against failing to cover themselves in glory. On this occasion, Fulham’s Alexander Kacaniklic ran through to score.
But Germany got an important goal back right before the interval. Max Kruse’s pass fortunately deflected into Mesut Ozil’s path on the edge of the box and the Arsenal man displayed superb control before instantly finishing into the corner. And then in a 13-minute spell near the start of the second half, Germany took charge. First Mario Gotze side-footed first time into the top corner before Sweden took their turn to display some hapless defending, allowing Schurrle to score twice after coming in off the left flank.
The goal of the match arrived with 69 minutes on the clock with Hysen taking advantage of Germany falling asleep from a free-kick to strike a volley of the quality that even the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic would have been proud. But it was the visitors and Schurrle that would have the last say. With 14 minutes left on the clock, the Chelsea man curled a superb strike into the top corner from the edge of the box.