Germany 2 v o Ukraine -Eur0 2016 Group C

GER 2:0 UKR – In an uncharacteristically end-to-end opening game in Group C, World Cup winners Germany saw off a Ukraine side who caused more issues for Die Mannschaft than many expected. It was left to the eloquent Toni Kroos to spur his lacklustre side on with a effortless performance in the centre of the park. Early Ukrainian pressure saw Sevilla FC winger Yevhen Konoplyanka curl an effort towards the top corner, forcing FC Bayern München stalwart Manuel Neuer into an excellent parried save. Somewhat against the run of play the Germans took the lead – a delightful ball from Kroos from the right was met ferociously by Valencia CF defender Shkodran Mustafi. Neuer made another wonderful stop minutes later from a powerful header from a corner from FC Dynamo Kyiv‘s Yevhen KhacheridiAndriy Pyatov was also brilliant in the Ukrainian goal, saving from Sami Khedira when clean through just before half-time, then tipping a Kroos strike onto the bar the other side of the break. Germany had Jérôme Boateng to thank for a last gasp clear from off the line after Konoplyanka again caused problems behind a static Germany defensive line. A nervy last period to the game saw Збірна throw more men forward and Neuer had to be alert to save a drilled strike from Yaroslav Rakitskyi. A quick break in injury time sent Mesut Özil away on the left and his dangerous ball across the box was finished off by Bastian Schweinsteiger to give the Germans a flattering 2-0 scoreline. Ukraine will hope to overcome the Northern Irish on Thursday to bounce back after a good showing here. The Germans face an unconvincing Polish side to secure a place in the last 16.

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