Germany put on quite a display of high-octane football in their Group E opener in Queretaro, beating South American qualifying hosts Ecuador 6-1 in what must be considered a resounding warning shot to the rest of the competition here at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
Ecuador looked the slightly better side as the first half began, but as is common at international tournaments of any age level, the Germans were more clinical in front of goal. There were chances for both sides in the first half-hour, the best of them coming from Ecuador’s Jonny Uchuari, who forced a fine save from Odisseas Vlachodimos, and Germany’s Cimo Roecker, who nearly forced Ecuador’s captain Ridder Alcivar to putting through his own net.
After 31 minutes, the Germans finally got the breakthrough that their endeavor and determination warranted. Following a defensive mix-up that saw the ball bounce off of a pair of Ecuadorian defenders, Samed Yesil pounced and slammed his flying volley off the underside of the crossbar and just barely over the line.
After the breakthrough, the Germans grew in confidence but they soon found themselves under heavy pressure at the start of the second half. Robin Yalcin was forced to clear off the line after Carlos Gruezo cleverly rounded the goalkeeper. Just seconds later, the South Americans were back on level terms, Gruezo making amends for his earlier miscue. He collected the ball at the top of the area and fired an unstoppable drive low and into the corner of the net in the 51st minute.
The tempo of the match went up a notch after the equaliser and the Germans impatiently took the lead 2-1 just three minutes later. Roecker’s shot from a tight angle was deflected over Walter Chavez and into the back of the net. They then went on to make their lead safe in the 61st minute when the lively Levent Aycicek rounded two defenders, drove into the box and slammed past the despairing keeper, who got his fingertips to the try. Eight minutes later, Yesil scored virtually an identical goal, blowing past two Ecuadorians and scoring from a few paces inside the area to make it 4-1.
The South Americans lost the plot completely after that and Marvin Ducksch and Okan Aydin added two more to see Germany lay claim to the biggest scoreline so far at these finals. The victors will hope to keep up the form when they next face Burkina Faso in Queretaro on 23 June, with Ecuador looking to rebound and pick up some confidence and points against first-timers Panama that same day.