Germany's slender win against Georgia in their opening game put them one step away from the semi-finals and extended the unbeaten streak of Stefan Boger's side to 26 matches.
Not only did the Georgia result bring Germany their 25th win in that incredible sequence, but it also brought their sixth clean sheet since qualifying began, proving that their successful run has its foundations in a strong defence. Right-back Pascal Itter, a key member of this mean back line, talked to UEFA.com about Germany's opening win and a potential spot in the last four.
"It was a difficult match against Georgia," said Itter, a skilful and energetic full-back currently in the youth ranks of 1. FC Nürnberg. "In the first half we had our problems, but in the second half we reacted to their tactics and improved. We made better challenges, attacked better and in the end it was a deserved win."
Germany's upcoming opponents, Iceland, have proven that they are no pushovers, showing an iron will to earn a point against France after going 2-0 down with 24 minutes to go. Itter says Germany are aware of the strengths of Gunnar Gudmundsson's side, but are focusing on their own game.
"We know about Iceland and we are prepared," he added. "We want to concentrate on our own game, and try to play like we did in the second half against Georgia for the whole match against Iceland. Hopefully we can get a result like we did against the Georgians.
"We have confidence and it is great to start a tournament with a good result, but we will not play gung-ho football against Iceland, we want to get the ball and work it forward sensibly.
"We realise that if we win we are into the semi-finals. It is exciting and that was our objective going into the group, but the first aim is to beat Iceland, and then we have taken a big step towards the final."
Should Germany qualify from their group, Itter will be joining an illustrious list of players to have reached the last four in recent years. Among that group are 2009 winner Mario Götze, who has won successive Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund, and 2006 semi-finalist Toni Kroos who has reached the UEFA Champions League final with FC Bayern München.
"They have achieved so much," said Itter. "It really gives us extra motivation to see these players that played in this tournament reach such a high level. I can only hope that is me someday."
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