Germany were rarely tested as they breezed past a below par Ukraine 2-0 in Group C action on Sunday.
Starting the false 9 position, Mario Gotze created the first opening of the encounter but Julian Draxler dragged his shot wide of the target with just three minutes on the clock. Ukraine responded immediately but Manuel Neuer palmed away a stinging effort by Konoplyanka.
Germany, who have not won this tournament since 1996, dominated both territory and possession but failed to create any meaningful chances in the opening exchanges. The best falling to left back Jonas Hector who fluffed his lines with 12 minutes played.
Fellow defender Shkodran Mustafi handed Germany the lead in the 19th minute after he headed home a perfectly placed Toni Kroos free kick. The defender timing his run perfectly before connecting with a powerful header to send the majority of fans in Lyon cheering with delight.
Neuer produced another fine save in the 26th minute after Mustafi was beaten in the air from a corner as Kacheridi was denied by the fists of the Bayern Munich star.
Sami Khedira then spurned a wonderful chance after he beat the offside trap as but his left footed effort was hit straight at the goalkeeper to keep Ukraine in the contest after 30 minutes.
It appeared that Germany would rue their growing number of misses in the 37 minute but Bayern defender Jerome Boateng dramatically cleared the ball off his line from another Konoplyanka effort. Thomas Muller almost made Ukraine pay but his header from a Mesut Ozil cross was well wide off te target.
Kroos got Germany off to a strong start in the second 45 but his shot from range narrowly rose up and away from target; a warning that the Germans should not be allowed any space around the penalty area.
The World Cup champions dominated proceedings but failed to break down Ukraine completely as they failed to add to the Mustafi goal. Wave after wave of attack, consistently moving forward with fluid passing was not enough to create a goal scoring chance.
Joachim Low’s dominated the rest of the half but were unable to add to their lead. Ukraine at times chasing shadows as Ozil ended with a pass completion rate of 90+% while Gotze at times was surrounded by four defenders as the team in yellow tried to gain a foothold into the contest.
Juve midfielder Sami Khedira produced two good efforts on target but as the clocked ticked away the match took on a training match atmosphere.
Ukraine left it far too late as the created two scoring chances with just two minutes left on the clock but again Manuel Neuer was up to the task.
Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweimsteiger was introduced with one minute left on the clock for his 116th international appearance; that moment producing the biggest cheer of the second half. That was until the veteran midfielder struck home in time added on after a wonderful counter attack.
His half volley finish proving he still has plenty to offer at the highest level.