Germany got their bid for a record fourth European Championship crown off to a winning start as they comfortably defeated Ukraine 2-0 in Lille.
A bullet first-half header from Shkodran Mustafi and a stoppage time clincher from substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger did the damage as Di Mannschaft comfortably saw off Mykhaylo Fomenko's plucky side in what proved to be an entertaining affair.
Germany were all dominant early on but as the first half progressed they were grateful to Manuel Neuer for some fine goalkeeping and a sensational goal-line clearance from Jerome Baoteng.
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Germany's Shkodran Mustafi celebrates after scoring their first goal

Image credit: Reuters

The world champions produced a passing masterclass when in possession and they took a firm stranglehold of the match following the break, with Toni Kroos particularly impressive at the heart of the team.
The lack of cutting edge from a side devoid of an out-and-out goalscorer remains a potential area of weakness going forward as they struggled to turn their dominance into more goals.
Joachim Low's men meet Poland next in what could be a decisive clash in determining who tops Group C.

TALKING POINT - Germany are tournament specialists

Despite being crowned world champions just two years ago, there have been many question marks over Germany recently. They have been beaten seven times since triumphing in Brazil with a mix of unconvincing qualifying displays and poor friendly results. But they remain the quintessential "tournament team" and you would be foolish to write them off.
They will most likely be there or thereabouts in the latter stages and while this victory over Ukraine had its nervy moments, they got the job done and there is no reason why they won't continue to grow as a force as the competition progresses.


Toni Kroos (Germany). Pure artistry at the heart of the German midfield. His range of accurate passing is a joy to behold and he capped another consistent showing with a top-class assist for the opener.

Germany's Toni Kroos in action with Ukraine's Viktor Kovalenko

Image credit: Reuters


GERMANY: Neuer 8, Höwedes 7, Hector 7, Boateng 8, Mustafi 8, Khedira 7, Kroos 9, Özil 7, Müller 6, Draxler 6, Götze 6. Subs: Schurrle 6, Schweinsteiger n/a.
UKRAINE: Pyatov 7, Fedetskiy, Shevchuk 7, Khacheridi 7, Rakitskiy 7, Sydorchuk 6, Stepanenko 6, Yarmolenko 6, Kovalenko 6, Konoplyanka 7, Zozulya 6. Subs: Seleznyov 6, Zinchenko 6.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary


4' - UKRAINE CHANCE! . Yevhen Konoplyanka meets a cutback with a first-time curving attempt that is brilliantly beaten away by Neuer at full stretch.
19' - GOAL! GERMANY 1-0 UKRAINE. Shkodran Mustafi bullets a header beyond Andriy Pyatov from a delicious Toni Kroos right-wing free kick.
29' - GERMANY CHANCE! Big chance for Khedira as he races onto Kroos' delightful ball over the top and thumps a strike on the rise that is well kept out by Pyatov.

Ukraine's defender Vyacheslav Shevchuk (R) challenges Germany's midfielder Thomas Mueller during the Euro 2016 group C football match between Germany and Ukraine

Image credit: AFP

37' - UKRAINE CHANCE! Jerome Boateng almost puts a miscued effort from Konoplyanka into his own net but recovers to acrobatically hack it off the line. Ukraine carved Germany open there.
52' - GERMANY CHANCE! Great effort. A wonderful spell of possession football from Germany ends with Kroos lashing a 25-yard drive just over the bar.
87' - GERMANY CHANCE! Ozil rampages onto Kroos' lovely pass and is clear on goal... but he fires straight at Pyatov. Wasteful.
90+2' - GOAL! GERMANY 2-0 UKRAINE. Schweinsteiger steps off the bench and seals the victory. The Man United man follows the counter attack and volleys in at the far post from Ozil's left-wing cross.


Mustafi scored his first goal for Germany in his 11th cap.
Germany have never lost their opening game of a European Championship (W7, D5).
pre kick off Germany are unbeaten against Ukraine in six encounters (W3, D3).
Bastian Schweinsteiger scored his first goal for Germany since October 2011.


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