Goals from Paris Brunner, Max Moerstedt and Bilal Yalcinkaya proved enough for Germany to ease past New Zealand 3-1 and book their place in the knockout phase of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023™.
The Germans must have feared it wouldn’t be their day in the first period, as captain Noah Darvich rattled the post with a fine free-kick just after the half-hour mark, before Brunner’s looping header came back off the underside of the crossbar.
Brunner would hit the woodwork again in the seventh minute of stoppage time, but this time his, and Germany’s, luck was in. Maximilian Hennig cut the ball back inside the six-yard box, and while Brunner’s first effort was excellently saved by Matt Foord, he was able to head the rebound home via the underside of the bar.
He would find the woodwork for a scarcely-believable third time on the hour mark, when his shot from outside the area struck the foot of the post. Germany would recycle possession, however, with Darvich calmly picking out Moerstedt to tap home his side’s second.
It was then Moerstedt’s turn to hit the crossbar, as his header looped beyond Foord but could only find the woodwork. Much like Brunner’s goal earlier, though, Yalcinkaya was on-hand to smash home the rebound.
New Zealand would get on the board late on, as Almugera Kabar brought down Nathan Walker inside the box. Adam Watson stepped up and coolly sent Max Schmitt the wrong way.