The German U-17 team, coached by former German international and Dortmund legend Steffen Freund, easily won its third group stage match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2-0 Sunday against Panama. Germany finished on top of its group and faces the U.S.A on Thursday. The U.S. squad, coached by former Colombian international, Wilmer Cabrera, o finished third in its group after holding on for the draw against New Zealand. Germany; however, will be without Leverkusen starlet, Okan Aydin, who was sent off.
Steffen Freund made no changes to the line-up that sent Burkina Faso packing their bags to Africa after already advancing to the knock-out stage. The DFB Elf took command from the start and kept the Central Americans in their own half. After a nice sequence on the wing, the ball landed at the feet of Okan Aydin. The Leverkusen youth dribbled inside and struck a rocket from fully 30 yards into the upper right corner in the 10th minute.
After the opening goal, the German side gave up a few chances to Panama, but goalkeeper Vlachodimas, VfB Stuttgart, kept the Panamanians at bay. Nevertheless, the game was now more balanced. This would change in the 39th minute when Mitchell Weiser scored on a successful through ball from Werder Bremen youngster Cimo Röcker to give the Germans a 2-0 cushion.
The second half began with Freund substituting Dortmund’s Guenther for Schalke04’s Korzowski, and the game became visibly flattened. Panama came out knowing it had to create its first goal, but the DFB-Elf defense held firm. The game began to open up, and in the 66th Minute, Aydin battled for the ball, but met his opponent shin drawing straight red card for his dangerous and reckless play. This means that the offensive midfielder misses the second round against the U.S. A. Following that, Freund switched to a compact 4-4-1 system which produced no real scoring chances by Panama and a deserved victory for Die Mannschaft.
The U.S.A, led by Texan and FC Köln youth product, Matt Dunn, will have their hands full against the Germans when they square off on Thursday in Mexico. The game will be streamed online on ESPN3.com at 3:45 pm ET.
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