The headlines decrying both Kroos and the German team were ready to be published. The reigning champions had again let in a goal on the break to go 1-0 down, this time with a ball from Kroos going astray – Kroos, the man reputed as one of the best passers in the German squad.
Indeed, he is known around the world for his accuracy and reliability with the ball, so for him to produce an error of this calibre seemed to be symptomatic of a German team that was staring down the barrel of elimination. “If you make 400 passes then one or two of them are always going to go astray,” the No8 said to journalists after the final whistle. “You then need guts to come out and play like we did in the second half. But no-one sees that. We were really good but couldn’t score when we were on top. I think we earned that late goal though.”
The statistics certainly prove him right. At the break, his passing accuracy was at 95 per cent, but that one lost ball had turned the match on its head.