A late goal by substitute Noah Awuku lifted Germany to a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in their opening match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Saturday. Germany were more organised in attack and dominated play in halves, creating quite a few scoring opportunities. The European heavyweights scored through Jan-Fiete Arp (21st minute) and Awuku (89th). They could have won by a bigger margin had it not been for some erratic shots in front of the goal.
Costa Rica, who defended for the major part of the game, pulled one back in the 64th minute through Andres Gomez.
Costa Rica showed promise in the initial stages and came up with a couple of dangerous moves. Germany nearly conceded a goal when goalkeeper Luca Plogmann failed to clear a back pass in the fourth minute.
Andres Gomez picked up the ball and passed it to Josue Abarca, who, in turn, forwarded it to Amferny Arias, who shot over.
Four minutes later, an Andres Gomez header off a cross from the right by Josue Abarca went over the bar.
The Germans took time to settle down but once they did, there was no looking back, as they came up with swift counter moves from the flanks and took the lead in the 21st minute after missing a couple of chances.
Nicolas Kuuehn was the livewire in the middle and split the rival defence with a through pass to striker Jann-Fiete Arp, who ran into the box and chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Ricardo Montengero.
The Germans continued to attack and Jan-Fiete Arp nearly scored his second goal two minutes before the break, but his attempt was blocked by rival defender Amferny Arias.
Minutes later, Dennis Jastrzembski's header off a cross from Elias Abouchebaka hit the left post. Like in the first half, Germany continued to attack in the second half with repeated forays. The Germans did the bulk of attacking but Costa Rica found the equaliser against the run of play.
A swift move from the left saw Josue Abarca send a low cross into the box for Andres Gomez, who, from the centre of the box, beat German goalkeeper Luca Plogmann with a stiff grounder.
Germany scored the winner just before the final whistle when Awuku found the net after a defender failed to receive a cross from the right.