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Max Meyer's 60th-minute strike and a top-class goalkeeping display earned Germany a 1-0 win in their UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group A opener against Georgia.
In size and expectation these two nations undoubtedly differ, but their respective qualifying campaigns were both impressive. Indeed, Germany had goalkeeper Oliver Schnitzler to thank on more than one occasion. Ultimately, though, it was Meyer, scorer of three goals in qualifying, who struck the decisive blow midway through the second half.
Georgia proved they would be no pushovers and had the better of a lively first half. After nine minutes Vano Tsilosani's powerful, downward header forced an excellent save from Schnitzler, and thanks to skilful front pair Nika Akhvlediani and Davit Jikia, Georgia had their opponents on the back foot. It was Jakia who stung Schnitzler's palms again on 25 minutes, the keeper diving to his left to keep out a curling effort.
Sparked into life, Germany surged forward and created a golden chance. Left-back Jeremy Dudziak darted his way into the Georgia box and found Said Benkarit, but the striker's first-time shot went narrowly over. Another opportunity went begging moments before the interval, as Leon Goretzka's effort flashed past a post.
It was a different Germany team that emerged for the second half, however, and though Stefan Böger's side dominated possession, they had their No1 to thank again when he parried Jakia's improvised shot from close range.
Two more chances came and went for Benkarit as Germany stepped up their game; he almost punished Georgia keeper Aleksandre Adamia for straying off his line, before he atoned with a smart save.
The goal Germany had threatened arrived on the hour. Meyer broke the deadlock, jinking his way inside the box and beating Adamia with a deflected shot inside the near post. The Georgia custodian frustrated Benkarit twice more thereafter, but Germany had done enough.
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