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Germany top Sweden in terrific eight-goal repeat

Sweden 3-5 Germany
One year after the thrilling 4–4 draw in Berlin, the pair, already sure of their final positions in Group C, produced another eight-goal extravaganza.

André Schürrle is congratulated after one of his three goals
André Schürrle is congratulated after one of his three goals ©AFP/Getty Images

A year on from their thrilling 4–4 draw in Berlin, Sweden and Germany produced another eight-goal extravaganza – this time Germany triumphing 5–3 in Solna.

The Germans had already won FIFA World Cup qualifying Group C and Sweden had secured a play-off berth as runners-up, but the sides treated a sold-out Friends Arena to another spectacle. Two-one down at half-time, Germany were indebted to star of the show André Schürrle who hit a 19-minute second-half hat-trick to decide the contest.

With captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended, Sweden coach Erik Hamrén was sure to make at least one change from the XI that beat Austria on Friday. As it turned out, he fielded no fewer than five new starters.

One of them, Tobias Hysén, opened the scoring in the sixth minute after latching onto a Sebastian Larsson through ball. Germany soon took over proceedings but were caught short at the back on 42 minutes when Alexander Kacaniklic exploited a sudden gap in the German defence. Mesut Özil reduced the deficit on the cusp on half-time, shooting low and hard past Johan Wiland in Sweden's goal.

The second-half attacking showcase began in earnest when substitute Mario Götze steered the ball into Wiland's top corner in the 53rd minute. Schürrle – integral and inspirational in attack from the outset – then grabbed his first, pouncing on a loose Per Nilsson pass, outsprinting the Swedish defence and slotting in. He then profited from a Mikael Antonsson mix-up to make it 4-2.

Hysén got his second with a sweetly struck volley, yet while the hosts may have had another 4–4 draw in mind, Schürrle had other ideas. His treble was completed with a sumptuous right-footer curled into the top corner, saving the best for last.