Germany breeze into next round
© Getty Images

Germany beat Burkina Faso 3-0 on Thursday to reach six points and guarantee their advancement from Group E to the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Defenders Koray Guenter and Mitchell Weiser got on the scoresheet on either side of Levent Aycicek’s penalty to keep the Germans perfect after they opened the event with a 6-1 pounding of Ecuador.

The African champions, who were reduced to nine men by the end of the match, by contrast have opened with two defeats, and they gave themselves little chance of withstanding the Europeans after Yaya Bamba was sent off before the half-hour mark. Second half substitute Ben Zerbo joined him in the Estadio Corregidora dressing room in Queretaro just 15 minutes after coming on the pitch.

As opposed to their opener with Ecuador, when they took a full 40 minutes to break into their stride, Germany came out flying against the Burkinabe, scoring the opener after only four minutes with their first shot of the game. The Africans were chasing the contest from the opening minutes, and their defence cracked after a long free-kick from Emre Can that was headed across the goal by Samed Yesil. Guenter nodded into the back of the net to open the scoring.

In the 26th minute, the European powers doubled their lead when Yesil was fouled in the area by Romaric Banaba, and Aycicek stepped up to slam home from the spot. Things went from bad to worse for the Burkinabe soon after, as just one minute after conceding their second goal, Bamba was booked for a second time and was given his marching orders.

Burkina Faso goalkeeper Seni Ouedraogo rose to the occasion to keep his side in the match early in the second half. Just four minutes after the break, he denied Yesil with a great save, and shortly after he tipped over a shot from the impressive Okan Aydin, who let loose a wicked curling shot from 20 yards out. However, the goalkeeper ended up cursing his luck after the hour mark.

With Germany always looking a threat in the attacking third, they were peppering mid-range shots at the opposition goal regularly. From another one of these chances in the 66th minute, Weiser got the ball on the right side of the box, beat two defenders and hit a blistering blast that went through Ouedraogo, who could not dive quickly enough to keep the ball from breaking the line behind him.

Ouedraogo again showed a great deal of promise in keeping Yesil from upping the tally with a fine back-heeled shot, but a direct red for Zerbo in the 83rd minute left Burkina Faso chasing hopelessly in the dying minutes. In the end, the Africans held possession well but could not create a single chance on goal, while the Germans mustered 23 total shots and 11 on target.

While the Burkinabe have not been eliminated, their chances are hanging by a string as they face Ecuador on 26 June. With momentum building, Germany will take on Panama on the same day but with an eye on the knockout rounds and maybe even on the final in Mexico City on 10 July.