Low ‘satisfied’ with Germany win; Poland game ‘decisive’

Date published: Monday 13th June 2016 9:30

Joachim Low: Defended by Podolski

Joachim Low: Defended by Podolski

Joachim Low was happy with Germany’s opening display against Ukraine and is already looking ahead to the Poland clash.

Shkodran Mustafi’s 19th-minute header and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s stoppage-time breakaway ensured Germany got off to a winning start at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.

Yet Germany did not have things all their own way and Group C rivals Poland and Northern Ireland will have been heartened by some of their defending, particularly from set-pieces.

They were certainly grateful to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for some fine first-half saves and a spectacular goal-line clearance from Jerome Boateng.

Low told Uefa.com: “It was an intense and fast-paced game. In the first half we had a few problems going forward, losing the ball and giving them the chance to counter but in the second half we did very well, keeping our shape and moving the ball about well. ”

“We dominated – it wasn’t easy against a good Ukrainian defence but we found solutions and overall I’m very satisfied.

“Ukraine were very good from set pieces – they really whipped them into the box and put men forward. We defended better in the second half and Bastian Schweinsteiger was delighted to make such a great comeback after so many weeks slogging to get back to fitness.

“The Poland game is going to be decisive as both teams have won and the result of that one will shape how the group finishes.

“Obviously we have a lot of players out injured but I think the players who did play did a very good job. We were always able to transition from defence into attack.”

Ukraine defender Artem Fedetskiy wants his side to forget outside the defeat to Germany and focus on their two remaining games against Poland and Northern Ireland.

He said: “We are disappointed with the result and the goals conceded but we were up against the world champions. We can do better and we wanted to keep it alive until the last minute. Unfortunately we opened up and conceded a second goal, which hurt.

“However, we have two games left in the group and we have to cheer up – it’s only the start of the tournament.”

Ukraine coach Mykhailo Fomenko praised the professional display of Germany, saying: “We had to stop the Germans scoring and we weren’t able to do that – we conceded two goals. Germany are like a machine. They are full of great players and my players knew they would be up against a team of very high quality.”

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