Sporting Alert – Germany, Poland and Croatia all registered wins on day 3 at Euro 2016 on Sunday (12).
WINNING START FOR GERMANS
In Lille, Shkodran Mustafi and Bastian Schweinsteiger were both on target for Germany in their 2-0 victory over Ukraine in their Group C opener at Euro 2016.
Valencia defender Mustafi headed home a Toni Kroos curling free kick from the right inside the left post to give Germany the lead in the 19th minute.
Manchester United midfielder Schweinsteiger then added a second for the World Cup champions shortly after coming on in the 90th minute.
The veteran playmaker fired home into the roof of the net off a pass from Mesut Ozil in injury time to finish off a swift counter-attack.
LUKA WINS IT FOR CROATIA
Luka Modric’s dipping volley in the 41st minute secured a 1-0 victory for Croatia over Turkey in their Group D opener at Parc des Princes in Paris on Sunday.
The Real Madrid midfielder, advancing up the pitch from his central role, used perfect technique to blast home a difficult 41st minute volley shot from 25-yards, which dipped just in front of Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan, who was unable to get a finger on the ball.
“Luka really deserves to be talked about, especially after this match, one of his best for Croatia,” said Croatia coach Ante Cacic.
“He really played well, he was our leader. He scored this magic goal and it turned out to be the only one of the game.”
Both teams had several chances to add to the scoreline, but failed to capitalized, as Croatia was twice denied by the crossbar in the second half.
In the end though, Croatia, one of the tournament’s “dark horses” will be delighted to get the first game out-of-the-way with three points in the bag.
“We will do our best and keep fighting … but unfortunately we never start well in those big tournaments,” Turkey coach Fatih Terim said.
POLES START WITH WIN
It was the same scoreline at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, where Poland tagged the Northern Ireland 1-0 in their Euro 2016 Group C opening match.
The lone goal came in the 51st minute from Arkadiusz Milik, who collected a pass inside the box and then netted with a low strike to finally break down the Northern Ireland defensive line, which fended off a chain of attacks from the Polish team before the breakthrough.
Star striker Robert Lewandowski had a relatively low-key evening for Poland, as he was closely marked, which resulted in the Bayern Munich player drifting outside of the danger area on several occasions.