South Korea counters Sweden's 'spying' tactics by swapping shirts in training

South Korea World Cup

Sweden locked up three crucial points at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation after converting a video assistant referee-confirmed penalty kick in the second half to beat South Korea, 1-0, on Monday.

Mexico stunned the defending champions Germany 1-0 on Sunday. The South Koreans face Mexico that same day.

Centre-half Granqvist stepped up to coolly slot home the penalty to claim all three points and send Sweden top of the group, level with Mexico on three points.

Sweden's height advantage got to South Korea.

Sweden will be hoping to kick-start their Group F campaign with a victory, but face a tough test against a South Korean side who are appearing at their ninth consecutive World Cup.

Kim kicked Claesson but the referee waved away the furious appeals from Sweden players.

Jo did his job in goal, making a half-dozen sprawling saves until he was beaten on a second-half penalty by Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist.

Sweden throughout much of the first half, and Marcus Berg almost 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.

The Asians actually began the game brighter, pressing forward and harrying for the first 15 minutes against an initially sluggish-looking Sweden. It certainly wasn't the one that Germany would've wanted.

Shin has been keeping secret his lineup against Sweden, using different lineups in each of their World Cup tuneups.

Sweden were just about good enough, but it wasn't exactly an inspiring display.

But it has, so far, proved largely a success in Russian Federation, and it certainly provided the most interesting moment of Monday's game.

He produced a brilliant save in the 20th minute to deny Marcus Berg from point-blank range, before recovering well to prevent the Swedish striker a follow-up opportunity.

After enduring a hard qualification campaign, South Korea eventually sealed their place in Russian Federation, reaching their ninth consecutive World Cup finals. Hwang is unmarked at the back post to meet a devilish corner from the left, but he inexplicitly heads wide from a matter of yards out. And Ibrahimovic would've brought some verve, arrogance and, frankly, interest around this Swedish side.

It wasn't a flowing performance from Sweden, but securing the win will come as a huge relief to Andersson and his team.

Sweden's starting players averaged about 1.90 meters (6-3), while South Korea's starters averaged about 1.83 meters (6 feet).

At a news conference South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong played down the incident and said he mixed up shirt numbers in an attempt to confuse the scout. It was a novel tactic. It may well be a little unfair to heap all the weight of expectation and responsibility onto the shoulders of one player.

Following Sweden's goal, Sweden sat deep and allowed Heung-Min Son to find space on the wings, where South Korea set up numerous half-chances.

After South Korea went behind, Son was moved centrally, but it was too late.

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