German midfielder Sebastian Rudy is an injury doubt for his team’s crunch Group F match against South Korea on Wednesday, after suffering a suspected broken nose in the dramatic win against Sweden.
The Bayern Munich midfielder was left bloodied after taking an accidental boot to the face from Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist 30 minutes into the game in Sochi, and was subsequently replaced by Ilkay Gundogan.
After the game German boss Joachim Low confirmed that Rudy could be among the enforced changes he has to make for the crucial game against South Korea on Wednesday in Kazan.
“My players were tired at the end of the game and Marco [Reus] had cramps as early as 10 minutes before the end,” Low told reporters, according to Reuters.
“Jerome Boateng is suspended [after picking up a red card on 82 minutes] and Sebastian Rudy broke his nose. We will need a couple of days to recover. Rudy could potentially play on Wednesday but we will need to wait and see,” he added.
Low said he was optimistic that Mats Hummels, who missed the Sweden game, would be fit enough to face South Korea.
“Mats is likely to play and if he does then we have another option in defense,” Low said.
Four-time winners Germany rescued their World Cup hopes with a dramatic 95th-minute winner from Toni Kroos, who curled the ball into the top corner from a well-worked free-kick to hand Germany a 2-1 win.
Marco Reus had equalized shortly into the second half, after Ola Toivonen’s smart finish had given the Swedes a first-half lead.
Kroos' late winner sparked wild celebrations from the German bench, but also led to a confrontation with Swedish staff and players after they appeared to be goaded by their rivals.
Swedish boss Janne Andersson accused the German staff of “rubbing our faces in it.”
A defeat for Germany would have spelled doom for their World Cup defence, and they now head into the game against South Korea with a chance of making the last 16 – but could still depend on the result of the Sweden-Mexico fixture.
The Germans have three points going in to the Group F finale, level with Sweden but three behind group leaders Mexico. South Korea are bottom of the pile with no wins from their two games in Russia.