Germany sent out an impressive statement of intent in their Egypt 2009 opener, racing to the top of Group C with an emphatic 3-0 win over USA in Suez. Thomas Rongen's side battled bravely and briefly threatened a comeback in the second half, but their opponents' superior finishing left the Americans facing an uphill struggle to qualify for the last 16.
The European champions gained a stranglehold from the outset and Richard Sukuta-Pasu twice went close during some one-sided early exchanges. Brian Ownby did test the reflexes of Ron-Robert Zieler at the other end, but it was no more than the Germans deserved when they earned a penalty just short of the half-hour mark.
Ownby was the player lured into a clumsy and clearly illegal challenge on Semih Aydilek, and the lively German striker dusted himself down to send the keeper the wrong way from the resultant spot kick. USA were rocking and, two minutes later, they suffered a knockout blow.
Germany captain Florian Jungwirth was the goalscorer on this occasion, pouncing on a half-cleared corner to smash in a fierce right-foot drive that Brian Perk could only help on its way into the net. The situation called for a strong American response and coach Thomas Rongen attempted to inject some more urgency to his side by bringing on Bryan Arguez at half-time.
The Germany-based midfielder certainly wasted no time in making an impact, sending a long-range shot flashing wide within two minutes of entering the fray. Arguez then turned creator, dribbling at the heart of the German defence before threading through Mikkel Diskerud for a shot that Zieler raced bravely from his line to block.
The European champions were hanging on at this stage and they came perilously close to conceding when Jared Jeffrey sent a right-foot shot crashing against the face of the crossbar from the edge of the box. That slice of bad luck should have told the US that this wasn't to be their day and, sure enough, Manuel Schaeffler removed any doubts over the outcome by firing home from close range with 18 minutes remaining.