Germany sealed top spot in Group C after a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Paris.
Heading into the final group game, Germany were level with Poland and needed to match their result against Ukraine. Joachim Low opted to hand Josh Kimmich a rare start at right back while veteran forward Mario Gomez started in place of Julian Draxler.
Thomas Muller has never scored scored in the European Championships in 7 previous matches. The Bayern forward was intent on changing that statistic but was denied in the 7th minute. Sent clear by Mesut Ozil, Muller failed to beat the keeper in a simple one on one situation.
Michael McGovern denied Ozil and Muller once more as Northern Ireland failed to deal with the constant German attacks. Muller’ streak of scoreless matches continued after his diving header hit the outside of the bar before a side footed first time strike beat McGovern but not the crossbar.
Muller registered his first assist when he played in Gomez who needed a deflection to send Germany into the lead in the 30th minute.
Gomez failed to add to his 29 international goals after scuffing his 41st minute. Germany topping the group at the halfway mark as Poland were held scoreless at the same point against Ukraine.
Gotze ensured the second half continued like the first as he missed two good chances to extend his side’s lead.
Andre Schurrle replaced Gotze but he failed to change Germany’s luck in front of goal. Germany continued to dominant but Northern Ireland defended resiliently.
McGovern denied Gomez a second in the 81st minute with a world class save. Gomez’s header aimed at the bottom right corner but somehow the goalkeeper got down to palm the ball away from danger.
Ozil, who along with Jerome Boateng starred for Germany, failed to get his strongly hit shot on target as Low watched on in disbelief.
Poland failed to better Germany’s goal difference and had to settle for second in group C.