Germany 2-0 Ukraine: Shkodran Mustafi and Bastian Schweinsteiger secure win in Euro 2016 opener
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 13/06/16 6:03am
World champions Germany got their Euro 2016 campaign off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory against Ukraine in Lille.
Shkodran Mustafi headed the world champions ahead on 19 minutes before substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger secured all three points for Joachim Low's side with almost the last kick of the game.
Ukraine did cause Germany a scare just before the break with Yevhen Konoplyanka forcing Jerome Boateng into a clearance off the line before Mykhaylo Fomenko's side had a goal ruled out for offside seconds later.
But in the end it was a comfortable night for Germany, who kept their unbeaten record in European Championship openers intact.
Both teams are next in action on Thursday, where Germany will face Poland, who beat Northern Ireland earlier on Sunday, while Michael O'Neill's side are next up for Ukraine.
Germany, who were without the injured Mats Hummels, were tested at the back in just the fifth minute when Manuel Neuer, Germany's captain for the night, palmed Yevhen Knoplyanka's curling shot away from goal.
However, Low's side responded well though with Julian Draxler flashing a shot wide, before Jonas Hector failed to connect with an attempted shot with the Ukraine goal gaping.
Ther Germans continued to press and it was Hummels' replacement, Mustafi, who broke the deadlock, powerfully heading Kroos' inch-perfect free-kick past Andriy Pyatov for his first international goal.
The World Cup winners were in total control, knocking the ball around with ease but they were given a warning in the 27th minute when Neuer was needed to tip Yevhen Khacheridi's header over the bar.
Ukraine continued to cause a threat as the first half drew to a close and they were inches away from an equaliser in the 37th minute when Boateng acrobatically cleared Konoplyanka's deflected shot off the line.
Seconds later, Fomenko's side had the ball in the back of the net but Germany survived with Fedetskiy offside in the build-up.
Germany reasserted their dominance after the break as they went in search of a second and a 30-yard Kroos drive clipped the angle of the goal.
Benedikt Howedes then crossed from the right for Draxler but the winger was unable to keep his header down after getting ahead of his opposite man.
Pyatov then denied Sami Khedira and comfortably dealt with a deflected effort from Mario Gotze, while substitute Andre Schurrle fired a decent chance wide.
Germany had an almighty scare three minutes from time when Mustafi's back-header flew over Neuer, but the ball bounced out of the reach of Ukraine sub Yevhen Seleznyov.
And three minutes into stoppage time, Germany broke forward from a Ukraine corner and Mesut Ozil's cross was emphatically finished by substitute Schweinsteiger to seal a comfortable victory.
Germany: Neuer, Mustafi, Hector, Howedes, Khedira, Ozil, Draxler (Schurrle, 78), Muller, Boateng, Kroos, Gotze (Schweinsteiger, 90).
Ukraine: Pyatov, Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk, Sydorchuk, Stepanenko, Yarmolenko, Kovalenko (Zinchenko, 74), Konoplyanka, Zozulya (Seleznyov, 66).
Man of the Match: Toni Kroos