Massivi Tsimba struck early in the second half to give Switzerland an opening victory in UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round Group 4 in Germany.
Switzerland have to reach their fourth straight finals, to be held in Serbia in May, to have a chance of defending the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico in June, but after hosts Germany won their opener, Yves Débonnaire's team followed suit against Ukraine. The first half was tight but after the break Switzerland, inspired by Endogan Adili and Ferid Matri, took control.
It was a good start for Switzerland, Adili forcing a fifth-minute Bogdan Sarnavskiy save from long range. However, Olexiy Chereda then volleyed over and Ukraine ended the first half the stronger. Just before the break the impressive Olexiy Khoblenko found Vladlen Yurchenko but he could not beat Yvon Landry Mvogo.
That scare, maybe, woke up Switzerland and within a minute of the interval they took the lead. Adili played the ball in from the left and Tsimba produced a calm finish. Soon after Mvogo blocked a Khoblenko header but Switzerland were in the ascendancy and twice Michael Frey came close in quick succession and Adili also threatened more than once.
Olexiy Chereda had a chance to level with eight minutes left but Matri intervened. Switzerland face Turkey on Friday, when Ukraine play Germany.
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