The Germany U17 side have started the World Cup in India with a win. Christian Wück’s side beat Costa Rica 2-1 in Goa after a dominant performance. Jann-Fiete Arp (21’) scored the opening goal against the Central American side before Andres Gomez (64’) equalised against the run of play. Super-sub Noah Awuku then struck in the 89th minute.
"I’m happy with the result but there is still lots of room for improvement in our performance,” Wück summarised after the game. “We were really nervous in the opening stages and made lots of mistakes. Then we got into the game a bit more, created lots of chances but we should’ve taken more of those chances. We need to be really consistent at this very high level – as is expected in a World Cup. We need to recover now, gather ourselves and get a second win on Tuesday against Iran”.
Matchwinner Awuku was happy after the late win: “We are really happy about our first win in the competition. We had lots of chances and should’ve killed the game off earlier on. The heat was really tiring. It was really important that we still had the energy at the end of the game to make it 2-1.” His teammate Lars Lukas Mai added: “We had to put our all into it. The World Cup is another level of intensity and so the 90 minutes was very tiring.”
The “Ticos” had the better start and Gomez fired over from ten yards out. After that chance, the Germany youngsters took control and had numerous chances before Arp chipped his team into the lead in the 21st minute after being played in one-on-one.
The Germans continued to dominate but could not convert their chances into goals with Arp’s shot being cleared off the line and goalkeeper Montenegro saved Jastrzembski’s header from the resulting corner just before half time.
The chances continued to flow for the U17s in the second half but they were punished for their poor finishing. Luca Plogmann saved one effort but the Werder ‘keeper was powerless to stop the rebound being slotted home by Gomez (64’).
The youngsters reacted well but it wasn’t rewarded until late on. Awuku, who had missed an earlier chance after being subbed on, reacted quickest to pounce on a ricochet and calmly sent the ball into the back of the net.