Shkodran Mustafi started because of Mats Hummels’ injury
Germany kicked off their Euro 2016 campaign by beating Ukraine in an exciting game in Lille on Sunday evening.
Shkodran Mustafi scored the first goal of the game in the first half before Bastian Schweinsteiger doubled the lead late on to put Germany top of Group C.
But it wasn’t straightforward with the relentless Ukraine only kept at bay thanks to some superhuman defending from Jerome Boating.
Joachim Low’s side will face Poland in the next round of fixtures while Ukraine face a must-win showdown with Northern Ireland.
Ukraine shot out of the blocks and nearly stunned the Germans but Manuel Neuer saved well from Yevhen Konoplyanka’s curling effort.
Ukraine only conceded five goals during in their 12 qualification games for Euro 2016 but their clean sheet was gone after 19 minutes when Mustafi powerfully headed Toni Kroos’ free kick into the top corner to put the world champions ahead.
Six minutes later Yevhen Khacheridi brought another fantastic save out of Neuer with a point blank header which was fisted over the bar.
Next to save Germany’s lead was Boating, who somehow managed to clear Konoplyanka’s attempt off the line as he fell backwards into the net before Viktor Kovalenko saw his goal correctly ruled out for offside.
After half time Germany looked less frantic in their defending and actually came close to doubling their lead when Kroos’ long ranger clipped the top of the crossbar.
The high tempo set in the first half slowed as the second half wore on and the players tired with Germany looking more likely to add to their lead as Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller saw their shots parried away.
And in the 91st minute Schweinsteiger finished off a devastating Germany counter attack only seconds after coming on.