World Cup 2018 Analysis: Kroos calls Game

Germany – Sweden 2:1 (0:1)

20 – Minute – Dominance

Germany showed a convincing performance from the start. They forced the low-standing Swedes even further back by short passing distances so that any pressing attempt by Sweden had no chance. Toni Kroos often dropped in on Rüdiger’s side to build up a back three, while Hector and Kimmich pushed forward.

Germany brings many players to the front and remains behind the ball together with the defensive #6 (here Rudy) in a 2-1 situation. Short passing distances and good balance ensure early dominance. Unfortunately, Kroos rarely came to this position, especially after a first shift.

Rudy provided the necessary balance and acts in comparison to Kroos higher to stop counter-efforts of the Swedes immediately. The disadvantage of Kroos’s position was his lack of involvement in the next level, so that his qualities of finishing or playing the last pass didn’t flourish.


Clever attack scheme. The ball goes on the wing, Werner indicates a deep running path and pulls Sweden’s chain backwards, the space in front of it can be used.

Another example from the first 20 minutes. Kimmich in 1:1 at the penalty area. He is secured directly by Boateng, while behind the ball is still a 2:1.

Moment of shock. Sweden recognizes a good distance to press. Berg tempts Rüdiger with a short run to go into dribbling. Berg observes the following duel and switches immediately. The following scenes have to be judged by referee analysts …

And Sweden?

Visibly impressed by the German commitment, Sweden tried a mixture of low-standing and high-pressure. Most of the Swedes relied on the former. They left two strikers in front of the ball to switch to counter. After an attacking effort they sometime didn’t ran back but tried to press without great success.

Sweden varies between deep standing and high press. Especially in the case of throw-in, Sweden stays in the lead and tries to act in a man-oriented manner for a short time. If the pressing is broken, it goes back to the back.

Losing your Flow …

What looked like a normal short 10 vs. 11 phase because of an injury, developed into a tangible crisis for the German game. Even at the same number they kept the deep position for a short time and completely lost momentum. Wild scenes and a conceding goal was the result.


The 1:0 by Toivonen. Actually inexplicable as Kroos loses the ball. After that, the situation is difficult to save. Toivonen completes a perfect cross really well.

Gündogan speculates in counterpressing and is easy outplayed.

Another example of the loss of control after Sweden’s goal. Reus moves well between the chains and receives the ball. Reus losses the ball without pressure. Despite the uncertain loss of the ball Kimmich pushes forward. The rest-field is not secured and the 2:0 is in reach.

eBooks – GERMAN TACTICS (Steven Turek)

Tactical Changes work

Löw changed at halftime, grabbed Werner on one side and Reus on the other wing, Gomez went to the center. Above all, Werner proved to be a stroke of luck. Actually, compared to the first 20 minutes of the game, nothing changed except that Hector secured Werner in the half-space instead of breaking through of his own on the wing. This gave Werner more 1:1 situations and the freedom to use them. Kroos also pushed more energetically and came in much more promising positions.

The 1:1. Kroos (we want to see him there) puts pressure on the swedisch defense and gets Werner running. In the middle, a central defender of Sweden can be pulled out by Müller into a completely harmless space. Reus uses the 2:2 in the center to score.

Kroos calls Game

Finally, it was also the combination of Werner and Kroos, which led to success. The fact that Kroos takes the ball in the situation and wants to shoot directly, makes him a special player that wants and does perform under pressure no matter what happened before. True greatness.

An Analysis by Steven Turek