That’s all from this match. Follow our live coverage of Belgium vs Panama here. Can the Red Devils get off to a winning start in the biggest mismatch of the group stages?
Sweden had more chances and more attempts on target, as South Korea managed none. The referee referred to a VAR for the big decision and a penalty was awarded to the Swedes, which the captain Granqvist converted.
Full-time and Sweden end their 12-year World Cup exile with a 1-0 win.
Andreas Granqvist with the penalty. The Swedes pretty dominant and the scoreline could have been more disparate if not for the Korean goalie Jo. Son-Heung Min and co. will be bitterly disappointed at missing a big chance late on.
90 minutes and counting. Four minutes of time added on. 1-0 Sweden
Hwang with a huge chance, a free header but can’t make it count. It’s not been South Korea’s day.
85’: South Korea are running out of time. 1-0 Sweden.
Difficult for the Asians to progress if the score remains the same. They will not fancy facing Germany and Mexico for a spot in the Round of 16. Sweden have been relatively untroubled though.
Lots of thoughts on VAR:
81’: Sweden make their second substitution. They lead 1-0.
Seb Larsson is taken off injured as Gustav Svensson comes on.
77’ - South Korea with a good chance but Hwang slips. 1-0 Sweden.
The ball is headed into the defender’s path by Son Heung-Min but he slips at the last moment and the chance is gone.
The VAR system explained:
70’ - Back to the walls defending for South Korea. 1-0 Sweden.
South Korea giving the ball away in their own area but the Swedes pass up the opportunity. The Taeguk Warriors need to attack and fast.
66’ - Sweden lead as Granqvist dispatches the penalty. 1-0
The keeper goes the wrong way as the Swedish captain eases it into the bottom right corner. It’s their first goal in over 400 minutes of World Cup action.
64’ - Sweden take a VAR review and it’s successful. Penalty. 0-0.
Andreas Granqvist to take the spot-kick for the Swedes.
61’ - Sweden earn their first caution of the game. 0-0.
Viktor Claesson goes into the book for a rash challenge. This has been a very physical match.
55’ - Sweden almost break the deadlock. 0-0.
Toivonen’s header is beaten away by keeper Jo. The Nordic nation are getting closer and closer.
This game has been busy for the referee. Plenty of fouls, with Korea committing 13 and Sweden 16. Two South Korean players into the book.
An interesting story from this group:
52’ - Koo goes close to Korea. 0-0.
South Korea have their first big chance of the second half but the number 13 can only head it into the side netting.
The second half kicks off. 0-0.
Sweden need a goal to break a six hour-plus drought. Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, can they bring this unwanted streak to an end?
HT: Sweden have dominated South Korea.
The Nordic team have shot 8 times, with 2 on target. The Koreans have made it tough for their opponents, closing down.
Half-time and Sweden have physically battered South Korea. 0-0.
The Scandinavians have created the better chances, and aerially dominated their Asian opponents. The Korean third-choice keeper Jo Hyeon-Woo has been busy and pulled off a stunning save from Berg. Don’t go anywhere, the second half is next.
40’: It has been an engrossing first half with both teams having chances. 0-0
The quality in the final third has been a problem, but Berg spurned Sweden’s best chances of the half 20 minutes half.
34’: South Korea finally have a counter. 0-0.
The Asians are breaking at pace but Sweden deny them. After a brief lull, the game’s speed is up again.
28’: Korea weathering the storm. 0-0
Park Joo-ho replaced by Kim Min-Woo. Sweden go close with another corner. The Asians need to keep the ball better.
21’: CLOSE! How did Sweden not score there? 0-0.
Marcus Berg has a shot three yards out but South Korean keeper Jo Hyeon-Woo somehow saving that. That was a close shave for the Asians. First big chance of the game.
17’: Granqvist almost sneaks through for Sweden but for a last-ditch challenge. 0-0.
Sweden are cranking up the pressure on the Koreans but the Asians are holding firm in Nizhny. Game settling into a nice rhythm here.
Interesting observation here:
10’: Sweden have rough-housed South Korea in the opening 10 minutes. 0-0
Emil Forsberg is known as the ‘Anti-Zlatan’ in the Swedish press because of his tendency to be dull in interviews. What are the other great nicknames for footballers that you’ve heard of? Let us know at The Field.
5’: South Korea have their first corner. 0-0.
Robin Olsson does well to parry it away. Korea Republic have been more than secretive heading into this World Cup, playing a closed-doors friendly against Senegal.
1’: We have kick-off in Nizhny Novgorod. South Korea playing in white, while Sweden line up in their traditional yellow shirts.
The teams are out and ready for the national anthem. Five minutes to go for kick-off.
Sweden’s biggest win in international football came against South Korea at the Olympics in 1948. They beat them 12-0.
South Korea’s captain Ki meanwhile appears for the 103rd time in international colours. He will become the country’s 8th-highest capped player of all time.
Some expect an entertaining game:
Four of Korea’s five wins in World Cup matches have come against European opponents. Poland, Portugal and Italy in 2002 were defeated en route to Asia’s first semi-final appearance while Greece in 2010 were beaten 2-0.
05:14 pm: In case you are just joining us, here’s the confirmation of the lineups...
Sweden XI: Olsen; Lustig, Granqvist, Jansson, Augustinsson; Claesson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Toivonen, Berg
Korea XI: Cho Hyun-woo; Lee Yong, Jang Hyun-soo, Kim Young-gwon, Park Joo-ho; Lee Jae-sung, Ki Sung-yueng, Koo Ja-cheol; Hwang Hee-chan, Kim Shin-wook, Son Heung-min.
Sweden are at the World Cup finals for the first time since 2006 (when they were in England’s group) – and remember how they got to Russia? By knocking Italy out in a two-legged playoff, of course, giving us only the third World Cup in history without the Azzurri.
The South Korean coach Shin Tae-Yong on swapping the shirt numbers of his players to confuse opponents:
All of the others played in numbers a little bit confusing, that’s why we switched the numbers. It’s very difficult for Westerners to distinguish between Asians, that’s why we did that.
Read more here.
For Son Heung-Min, there is an added incentive to win the World Cup. It would take a near miracle, but he needs to win a major tournament in order to avoid compulsory military service. The 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Asian Cup are also chances for him but what effect will this have on the Tottenham superstar?
Meanwhile, how to make a cool line-up video:
04:50 pm: Let’s talk about the starting line-ups. The big surprise for Sweden is the obvious omission of Manchester United central defender Victor Lindelof. In his place starts Pontus Jansson who starts alongside captain Andreas Granqvist.
South Korea coach Shin Tae-Yong was on the pitch when they lost 0-2 to Sweden on 16 May, 1996. Overall, Sweden have won two and drawn two against the Taeguk Warriors. scoring 17 and conceding two in four matches.
04:35 pm: Sweden will find it tough in a group containing Germany and Mexico, especially in the post-Ibrahimovich area.
Germany’s loss have broken the group wide open, with an ineffective display against Mexico costing the World Cup champions dearly. Sami Khedira, Julian Draxler and Joachim Low all disappointed. For more details, head this way.
04:25 pm: Ashish Magotra writes on Neymar’s role in Brazil’s World Cup campaign:
“On Sunday, movement with the ball was a luxury for Neymar.
But then, this is the fate of the legends. From Pele to Johan Cryuff; from Lionel Messi to Ronaldo and everyone else in between. The opposition knows they are good and will do everything in their power to stop them. The greats don’t have it easy. They never do.”
Read the full piece.
The teams are in.
Sweden start with Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen, as Emil Forsberg will bring the fire-power. Son Heung-Min will be pivotal for the South Korean team who will be lead Ki Seung-Yueng.
04:20 pm: Sweden have faced an Asian team in the World Cup only one previous time. On that occasion, they defeated Saudi Arabia 3-1 in the Round of 16 in 1994.
04:10 pm: The venue for this game...
04:05 pm: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the first match of the day (out of three) as Sweden takes on South Korea in a Group F encounter. With Mexico defeating Germany, and putting the World Champions in a precarious position of having to defeat both Sweden and South Korea to assure safe passage, this match takes added significance.