By Andy Hyslop
- Schweinsteiger starts game on the bench
- The German captain hasn’t played since substitute appearance in Manchester Derby on March 20
World champions Germany open their Euro 2016 campaign with a 2-0 win against Ukraine. They looking to emulate France and Spain in adding the European crown to their World one.
Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has struggled with knee injuries in the second half of the season.
After suffering an injury against Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round at the beginning of 2016. Schweinsteiger has only played 65 minutes of football for United.
After returning from injury with several substitute appearances, Schweinsteiger suffered another injury while training with the German squad in March and faced a race to fit for the finals.
After dominating the opening exchanges, Germany took the lead as Mustafi headed home a Toni Kroos free-kick. The free-kick was a debatable one as referee Martin Atkinson awarded the free-kick following a challenge on Thomas Muller.
Ukraine created several chances towards the end of the first-half but were denied twice by Manuel Neuer before Jerome Boateng cleared off the line.
In the second-half, Germany seemed to be strolling through the game and though Neuer had to save a free-kick and Mustafi nearly scored in his own net. You have to feel if Ukraine had levelled, Germany would have stepped up the gears.
Schweinsteiger replaced Mario Götze as the clock approached 90 minutes and only minutes after entering the pitch, the United midfielder struck the crucial second goal.
The second goal for Germany came as they hit Ukraine on the break in the second minute of stoppage time. Arsenal Mesut Ozil crossed for Schweinsteiger at the far post who met the ball on the half volley.
The two goal wiining for margin for Germans makes them the first team to win by more than one goal in the tournament so far.