Video assistant referee penalty helps Sweden win against South Korea

In a match dominated by Sweden, South Korea focused on defence to prevent goals and earn a point with a goalless draw in their Group F World Cup opener in Nizhny Novgorod on Monday.

But the video assistant referee (VAR) dashed their hopes by awarding a penalty to Sweden and giving them a 1-0 win. This was the first victory for Sweden in a World Cup opener since 1958.

It would have been an exciting match had the Koreans frontline showed the same agility and skills as their defence. A couple of times, Koreans almost came to scoring and in the dying moments of the game, they made some moves for the equaliser but they woke up late.

Sweden played an attacking game and they would have won by a bigger margin. The Korean defenders gave them no chance until the 65th minute when substitute defender Kim Min-woo brought down Viktor Claesson.

Although referee Joel Aguilar initially thought it was a tackle, he had his own doubts and consulted VAR. Aguilar then awarded a penalty to Sweden. Team captain Andreas Granqvist (file photo) fired it home deceiving the goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo by sending him the other way.

Having earned three points along with Mexico, Sweden will play Germany in Sochi on Saturday.

Mexico will clash with South Korea the same day in Rostov.