2018 FIFA World Cup, Group Stage
  • Andreas Granqvist (65' PEN)

Andreas Granqvist's second-half penalty leads Sweden over South Korea

Andreas Granqvist scored a 65th-minute penalty awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR) as Sweden began their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over South Korea on Monday at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

The penalty was the second awarded by VAR in three days as Antoine Griezmann's first-half attempt was granted via review in the first half of France's 2-1 win against Australia on Saturday.

Referee Joel Aguilar did not grant the penalty after a tackle by Kim Min-Woo on Viktor Claesson, but after the review and the decision, Granqvist finished into the lower right corner with Jo Hyeon-Woo diving the opposite way.

Sweden throughout much of the first half, and Marcus Berg nearly put his side up first in the 21st minute, but Jo stopped his close-range shot, from just outside the box, with the inside of his right knee.

South Korea's only real chance to equalise came in the 92nd minute, when Hwang Hee-Chan's headed attempt went wide to the left.

The pace of the game was stilted, with Aguilar calling the two sides for a combined 38 fouls.

Sweden are back in the tournament for the first time since 2006. South Korea are now winless in their last six World Cup matches, having failed to pick up a victory since 2010.

Coach Shin Tae-Yong turned to Jo, who started the 2-0 loss to Senegal in the final warm-up friendly, instead of Kim Seung-Gyu.