June 24 (UPI) — German midfielder Sebastian Rudy had to leave the field after taking a kick to the face in a 2-1 win against Sweden at the World Cup.
The blow came in the 25th minute of the victory Saturday at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia. The game was tied 0-0 at the time.
Rudy was sliding for a loose ball on the play. He failed to gain control and was about to jump up, when Sweden forward Ola Toivonen attempted to jump over him. Toivonen’s leap looked as though it would clear the German midfielder, but his left boot caught him in the nose at the last second, prompting a stream of blood to pour from Rudy’s nostrils.
Rudy immediately went back down on the ground. He was replaced by Ilkay Gundogan in the 31st minute, following the collision.
Toivonen gave the Swedes a 1-0 lead with a score in the 32nd minute. Sweden took that edge through the halftime whistle.
Germany evened the Group F bout with a Marco Reus goal in the 48th minute. Toni Kroos played hero in stoppage time, bending in a beautiful shot off of a free kick for the game-winner.
“If I get the all clear then I obviously want to play against South Korea. I have a few problems breathing through my nose at the moment, but other than that I’m feeling no pain,” Rudy said.
The Germans confirmed that Rudy suffered a fractured nose during his exchange with Toivonen. He will wear a protective mask for the rest of the World Cup. He had surgery on Sunday.
“The players were exhausted after the game, Marco Reus had cramps ten minutes before the final whistle,” Germany coach Joachim Low told reporters. “Jerome Boateng is unavailable, Sebastian Rudy has a broken nose. We need one or two days to recover. Mats Hummels will likely be able to play, which would give us another option in defense.”
Germany battles South Korea in its final Group F match at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Kazan, Russia.