By Tim Dykes at the Carl-Benz-Stadion
Second-half goals from Jon Jönsson and Johan Elmander enabled Sweden to take a giant stride towards the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a 2-1 victory against Germany in Group B.
Jönsson struck on 49 minutes and Elmander chalked up his third goal of the tournament just past the hour mark as a much-changed Germany team was put to the sword in Mannheim before Benjamin Auer's late effort made for a frantic finish.
Germany coach Uli Stielike rang the changes, with only goalkeeper Tim Wiese and Christoph Preuss retaining their places following Friday's 2-1 victory against Switzerland. As promised, Lukas Podolski started in attack alongside Mike Hanke, while Sweden, who beat Portugal in their opening game, began with the fit-again Tobias Hysén supporting Elmander.
There was little promise of the frantic finale during a first half that was at times painfully disjointed, with neither side willing to venture too far forward for fear of exposing themselves at the back. Wiese twice had to clear with his feet in the opening exchanges and his opposite number, Johan Wiland, punched clear a 15th-minute Podolski free-kick - but neither man had a significant save in a cagey first half hour.
After Germany had claims for a penalty turned down, the best chance of the half fell to Moritz Volz. The Fulham FC full-back ventured forward and found himself with a gilt-edged opportunity before disappointing the expectant home crowd by dragging the ball wide from eight metres with just Wiland to beat.
Hysén drew the first true save of the match from Wiese with a soft header as the interval approached and the goalkeeper did well to force Elmander wide when the big striker bore down on goal, but the second half was a different story. Sweden took just four minutes to break the deadlock, Jönsson pouncing on indecision in the German defence to drill into the corner from 16 metres.
Sweden then had to weather the storm and although Maik Franz was booked for bringing down Elmander, Stefan Ishizaki soon joined him in the referee's notebook for a tackle on Hanke. Podolski then went close with an acrobatic attempt with Wiland stranded before Robert Huth headed wide with the Swedish goal at his mercy.
Germany switched to 4-3-3 with the 59th-minute introduction of Auer but it left them stretched in defence and when Wiese pawed Samuel Holmén's header from Ishizaki's cross on to the crossbar, Elmander reacted quickly to stab the ball over the line and double Sweden's lead.
Podolski showed a glimpse of the form which has put him on the brink of Rudi Völler's senior squad with an audacious chip which bounced off the crossbar before Auer swept in from close range on 85 minutes to rouse the home crowd. Despite Ishizaki then having to clear Andreas Görlitz's rasping effort off the line, Sweden held on for victory.