Berlin, 17 June-2014, IANS: Country wide celebrations started right after Germany's impressive 4-0 win over…
World champions Germany were bailed out by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as goals by Shkodran Mustafi and Bastian Schweinsteiger secured a 2-0 win over Ukraine in their Euro 2016 opener in Lille.
Next up for Germany is a heated battle for top spot in Group C with neighbours Poland on Thursday in Paris after the Poles overcame Northern Ireland 1-0 thanks to Arkadiusz Milik’s strike earlier on Sunday.
Valencia defender Mustafi powered home the opener from Toni Kroos’s free-kick after just 19 minutes of Sunday’s game. And Schweinsteiger wrapped up the win in injury time, moments after coming off the bench.
Germany were also thankful to captain for the night Neuer as he made stops from Yevhen Konoplyanka and Yevhen Khacheridi, while Jerome Boateng made a spectacular clearance off his own line.
» World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew had to name a makeshift back line due to a series of defensive injuries, and that instability was exposed as Neuer kept Ukraine at bay in an entertaining opening 45 minutes. The giant Bayern Munich goalkeeper flew to his right to turn Sevilla winger Konoplyanka’s curling effort behind after a slip from Mustafi after just five minutes.
» Neuer came to Germany’s rescue again with brilliant reflex save to tip over Khacheridi’s header, but Loew’s men could just as easily have been 2-0 up moments later when Sami Khedira shot too close to Andriy Pyatov.
» Ukraine ended the half on the front foot as only a remarkable acrobatic clearance from Boateng prevented the dangerous Konoplyanka from levelling, with English referee Martin Atkinson helped to make the right call by goal-line technology.
» Even when Ukraine did finally beat Neuer they were denied by the offside flag when Andriy Yarmolenko tapped home seven minutes before the break.Germany