Belgium 0-2 Germany
Fortunate to be level at the break, Germany punished their opponents' wastefulness with two early second-half goals in this Group B contest.
Article top media content
• Germany captain Felix Passlack breaks deadlock with deflected strike after 43 minutes
• Niklas Schmidt doubles lead, powering in a shot from around 25 metres
• Belgium fail to take any of three excellent first-half opportunities
• Next matches: Czech Republic v Belgium, Slovenia v Germany (Saturday)
Felix Passlack and Niklas Schmidt scored second-half goals as Germany defeated Belgium in UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group B.
Moving the ball about with purpose, Germany were bright early on, No9 Schmidt forcing Jens Teunckens into a smart stop after three minutes with a stinging drive.
The Red Devils took a quarter of an hour to find their rhythm, but once they settled Bob Browaey's side fashioned four chances before the break. First, Alper Ademoglu swept play out to Ismail Azzaoui, whose composure deserted him at the vital moment. Azzaoui then turned provider, getting to the byline and cutting the ball back for Dennis Van Vaerenbergh; Belgium's five-goal top scorer in qualifying screwed his shot wide.
Tottenham Hotspur FC left-winger Azzaoui, operating on the right, then turned Lennerd Daneels's floated cross against the woodwork from an acute angle before playing in Orel Mangala, who miscued when well-placed.
Germany punished their opponents' profligacy with two goals in six minutes at the start of the second half. With not much on, captain Passlack elected to try his luck from outside the penalty area, the ball taking a deflection on its way over Teunckens.
If that was somewhat fortuitous, the second was anything but, Schmidt exhanging passes with Passlack before powering a 25-metre drive into the net. Mangala then spurned another opening, turning wide a clever free-kick routine as Belgium sought a riposte.
Such finishing proved their downfall, even if Teunckens caught the eye by expertly keeping out Johannes Eggestein's downward header and then tipping a shot from the same player onto a post.
Bob Browaeys, Belgium coach
It's an unwritten law in football that if you create four or five chances you have to score at least one of them. However, I'm very proud of the players. In the first half they played very well, but Germany then scored two beautiful goals and suddenly it was game over.
Christian Wück, Germany coach
It was a very close game in the first half. We had the better start and had two good opportunities in the first ten minutes. Then there was a break in our game and we had a bit of luck when Belgium missed their chances, so were fortunate to go in at 0-0.
We made a change at half-time [bringing on Joel Abu Hanna for Enes Akyol] and spoke to the players because we had problems in midfield. We played very well in the second half and scored two lucky goals with powerful shots from around 20 metres. Our confidence returned as a result and our control of the ball was good.