Millennium Post

Kroos hits out at Germany's World Cup doubters

Sochi: Germany's matchwinner Toni Kroos has criticised former internationals and pundits for putting the boot into the defending champions after their shaky World Cup start.

Kroos's stunning free-kick five minutes into added time in Sochi sealed a 2-1 win to keep alive Germany's flagging hopes following defeat to Mexico in their opening Group F match.

Following the dramatic win on Saturday, Kroos rounded on those who had heavily criticised Joachim Loew's squad after their woeful first-half display against Mexico. The Real Madrid midfielder told broadcaster ARD after the Sweden game that the team deserved criticism after their disjointed performance in their tournament opener, adding : "Many people would have been happy if we had gone out."

"Anyone who speaks up, those experts, and anyone who writes about it can feel they have addressed things, but it gives me the feeling that it's more fun to analyse or talk or write badly of us," he told reporters.

"I'm not talking about the fans who go to the fan miles (fan zones in Germany)."

By his own admission, Kroos was at fault when he gave the ball away, which led to Ola Toivonen's first-half goal for Sweden, putting Germany on the brink of a World Cup exit.

The holders fought back, with Marco Reus equalising early in the second half before Kroos's dramatic winner.

The four-time world champions must win by a margin of two goals against South Korea in Kazan on Wednesday to be absolutely sure of progressing.

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