0-1, Gwinn 7'. 1-1, Cazorla 61'. 1-2, Bühl 74'.
Venezuela under-17 1-2 Germany under-17: Gwinn gets Germans off to perfect start

Venezuela under-17 1-2 Germany under-17: Gwinn gets Germans off to perfect start

It's just what Anouschka Bernhard's side would have wanted.

Jonathan Walsh
Venezuela U17Caceres, Herrera, Vergara, Luzardo, Rojas, Castillo, Day. Rodriguez, Castellanos, Alvarado, Gonzalez (Briceno 74'), Cazorla.
Germany U17Doege; Linder, Kleinherne, Pawollek, Siems, Wieder, Minge, Lohmann (Oberdorf 77'), Schöppl, Bühl (Müller 89'), Gwinn (Chmielinski 90+3').
REFEREEKate Jacewicz (AUS). Booked: Castillo (26'), Luzardo (38' & 87'). Sent-off: Luzardo (87').

A goal and assist from Guila Gwinn helped Germany to overcome a spirited Venezuela side in the opening FIFA under-17 Women's World Cup game.

Gwinn gave Germany the lead but a spell of pressure from Venezuela saw them level through Maria Cazorla.

Klara Bühl restored the German's advantage, and a late red card for Sandra Luzardo sealed the game.

Gwinn notches early on

Germany were on top in the early stages although Venezuela did have a few pot-shots at goal on the angle. However, a sightly fortunate deflection helped the favourites take the lead. Janina Minge's ball over the top was deflected through by an unaware defender, and Gwinn made no mistake with a fantastic volleyed finish into the bottom corner.

The Venezuela defence couldn't cope with the German attack and found it especially difficult to contain anything that got in behind. Verena Wieder was the latest player to make such a run and her cross was almost perfect for Gwinn to nod in at the back post, but it was just marginally too high for the SC Freiburg starlet.

Eventually the South Americans began to work a way back into the match. The ball fell kindly for Deyna Castellanos moments after the 20-minute mark but some brave defending from Tanja Pawollek prevented their main goal-threat from restoring parity.

The final opportunity of the first half came for the lively Wieder once more. A driving, darting saw her leave several defenders in her wake but her shot was lacking on the angle and Nayluisa Caceres remained untroubled. It was a fairly close half as Germany saw more of the ball, with Gwinn's goal proving the only difference between the two.

Bühl strike seals win

The second period began with Venezuela on top and the new energy and composure across the team saw them in control. Luzardo, who readily gave away in the first half, was now bringing the ball out and that was creating chances. A moment of brilliance from Castellanos came oh-so close to the opener, though her free-kick rattled the bar.

Venezuela's pressure eventually did pay off and they got back on level terms just after the hour mark. A great cross from Gonzalez was aimed at Castellanos but headed away by Caroline Siems. Yet Venezuela were first to the second ball and 14-year-old Cazorla managed to squeeze the ball into the far corner with a fine finish.

Mario Castillo then saw her outrageous attempt from all of 40 yards slip just over, but that sparked a response from Germany. Pawollek's header as saved well by Caceres but she could do nothing when Gwinn slipped in Bühl, and the young forward showed great composure to slot home when faced with the oncoming goalkeeper.

Bühl was denied a second when Gwinn again proved the telling pass, with Caceres and a superb block keeping her out. Wieder added to her miserable afternoon after skying the rebound, before Luzardo was shown a second yellow card late on for a foul on young Lena Oberdorf.

Germany saw the rest of the game out from there to open with a hard-fought but deserved win over the South American champions.