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EURO2016: Dominant display opens up Germany account

Germany have kicked off their Euro2016 campaign with a fairly comfortable 2-0 win over Ukraine in Lille.

Joachim Low's World Champions won in a canter at the Stade Pierre Mauroy by dominating possession and creating a number of scoring chances, two of which were taken by Shkodran Mustafi and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The opening goal of the Group C encounter came in the 19th minute when Toni Kroos whipped in a devilish free-kick from the right flank which invited Mustafi to expertly head home at the back post for his first international goal.

The contest was wrapped up in injury-time when substitute Schweinsteiger completed a swift counter-attack by firing home a sweet half-volley from Mesut Oil's pinpoint delivery from the left.

Earlier, Manuel Neuer did brilliantly well to keep out Yevhen Khacheridi's goal-bound header from Yevhen Konoplyanka's corner before Andriy Pyatov stood up down the other end to thwart Sami Khedira in a one-on-one situation after another defence-splitting pass from Kroos.

Late in the first half, Jerome Boateng produced an incredible goal-line clearance to deny Konoplyanka, who really should have scored, before Ukraine had the ball in the back of the net only for Artem Fedetskiy to be flagged offside.

Germany dominated possession in the second half and hardly let the Ukrainians in, however, they were unable to kill the game off with Pyatov able to safely deal with efforts from Khedira, Mario Gotze, Andre Schurrle and Ozil.

The was a late scare for the Germans when Mustafi and Neuer failed to communicate properly with the former's header from a long Pyatov ball looping over the latter, before Boateng saw it to safety.

And as Ukraine pressed for a leveller, Die Mannschaft broke on the counter to finish it off in one foul swoop, pocketing a valuable three points, which has them in a strong position ahead of their next Group C fixture against Poland who had earlier beat Northern Ireland 1-0.

Euro2016 - Group C

Germany: 2 (Shkodran Mustafi 19', Bastian Schweinsteiger 90+2')
Ukraine: 0
Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille - 43,035

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Andrew Slevison
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