A last-gasp Toni Kroos goal gave Germany victory against Sweden on a dramatic night in Sochi, a result which kickstarts the holders’ campaign.
After the Germans’ shock defeat to Mexico in their opening game, Jogi Loew made the brave decision of benching Mesut Ozil, along with Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels.
In stepped Maro Reus, Sebastian Rudy and Antonio Rudiger as the holders looked to get their defence of the title back on track in a must-win game.
However, it was the Swedes who would open the scoring just after the half-hour mark, with Ola Toivonen dinking the ball over Manuel Neuer in the German goal after sloppy play from Kroos.
The Germans pushed for an equaliser, only to be thwarted time and time again by Robin Olsen in the Swedish goal.
Loew sent on Mario Gomez from Julian Draxler at the break and the veteran hitman had an immediate impact, providing a touch for Reus’ close-range equaliser with what was his first touch of the game.
Back on level terms, the Germans pushed the Swedes back deeper and deeper.
However, on 82 minutes, their hopes of securing the victory were dealt a serious blow when Jerome Boateng was sent off for a second yellow after a heavy challenge on Marcus Berg.
In injury time, sub Julian Brandt saw his effort come back off the post as Germany looked to be headed for another disappointing result in Russia.
However, with only seconds left to play, Timo Werner was fouled just outside the left side of the Swedish box.
Up stepped Kroos, who atoned for his earlier mistake by curling the ball into the back of the net after a touch from Reus.
It was a stunning goal which understandably send the German players, coaching staff and fans wild, with Swedish boss Janne Anderson getting into a bit of a scrap with some of the German staff who (stupidly) goaded his bench.
The dramatic victory sees Kroos and co. go second in Group F, level on points with Sweden and three points behind leaders Mexico.
Germany face South Korea in the their final group game on Wednesday, with qualification now back in their own hands.
As for Sweden, who produced a superb display against the Germans, they’ll need to get over the heartbreak of that last-minute loss, ahead of their final group game against Mexico.