KIEV: Germany claimed a first Nations League win with victory over Ukraine in a game where around 20,000 fans were allowed to attend Kyiv’s Olympic Stadium.
Joachim Low’s side had not won any of their six fixtures in the competition prior to Saturday’s Group A4 match.
They took the lead when Matthias Ginter stabbed in before Leon Goretzka headed home after an error by goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan.
A Ruslan Malinovskyi penalty set up a tense finale but Germany held on.
Germany, who did not win a game in their inaugural Nations League campaign two years ago, now have five points from three games in the 2020-21 edition of the competition.
Fans were let in to watch this game after local health authorities allowed the 70,000-capacity Olympic Stadium to be filled by up to 30%.
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who has not played for the Blues at all this season, impressed during the game and provided the assist for Germany’s opener following a clever run outside the Ukraine defence.
Rudiger’s club team-mates Kai Havertz and Timo Werner started on the bench, coming on towards the end of the game as Germany found themselves under pressure from Ukraine as the hosts pressed for an equaliser.
Win for Spain
Spain remain top of their Nations League group after a narrow victory over Switzerland in Madrid.
Real Sociedad forward Mikel Oyarzabal scored the only goal early in the first half.
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Adama Traore made his competitive debut for Spain, while Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri came on for Switzerland after a negative Covid test.
David de Gea’s clean sheet capped a satisfying night for the home side.
De Gea, who replaced Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga, was forced into a smart early save by Loris Benito, palming away the Switzerland wing-back’s low shot at his near post.
But any confidence the visitors may have taken from that early sight of goal seemed to be snuffed out in the 14th minute when some inexplicable play in their own penalty area was punished by Oyarzabal.
A sloppy short pass from goalkeeper Yann Sommer was intercepted by Mikel Merino, who set up the forward for a simple finish and his third international goal.
Sommer went some way to making up for his error with a decent save in the 28th minute, turning away a powerful downward header from Manchester City’s £20m winger Ferren Torres.
Oyarzabal missed a glorious chance to double his tally shortly after the break when the Swiss goalkeeper palmed a shot into his path, but he was unable to react quickly enough to turn the ball in at the back post.
Barcelona’s teenage attacker Ansu Fati had an uneventful night and was replaced by 24-year-old Traore.