Having led at the break through Sheyi Ojo, the Young Lions had Jonjoe Kenny sent off minutes after the restart but goals from Dominic Solanke and matchwinner Maitland-Niles sealed the win, despite the hosts pulling one back late on.
And this all came after far from ideal preparations for Aidy Boothroyd’s side as their late arrival due to traffic congestion in the local area saw kick-off delayed for 20 minutes.
Germany U19s 2-3 England U19s
Friday 4 September 2015
BELKAW Arena, Bergisch Gladbach
But it was the hosts who suffered an early blow as Johannes Buhler locked to have popped his elbow out of its socket and was forced from the field inside the opening five minutes.
Perhaps due to the circumstances before play, the contest lacked tempo at first as both sides sounded each other out.
Philipp Ochs twisted and sent an effort over the bar for the home side and Ojo forced Timo Konigsmann into a full-stretch save to tip his strike from the edge of the area over.
The Young Lions lacked their usual zip, as the German midfield pressed well to hold England back for spells but Freddie Woodman was called into action to save a fierce drive from Ochs and Kenny produced a brave diving block to deny the same man at the back post.
But the home defence were playing high up, and they were almost caught out by a great 40-yard pass from Jordan Rossiter, as Boothroyd’s side began to take control. The Liverpool midfielder picked out the run of Ojo on the left, who cut inside but fired wide across goal from the corner of the box.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee had his moment soon after though, as he broke the deadlock after 36 minutes. Patrick Roberts fed Solanke down the left, and he showed great strength to hold off a challenge and centre the ball for Ojo to fire home.
The visitors were now in the ascendency as the contest reached the half-way stage, but two minutes after the restart they suffered a blow as they were reduced to ten men.
Germany had flown out of the traps and Suat Serdar cut inside Tafari Moore down the left and struck a powerful drive past Woodman, but Kenny prevented the goal with his hand on the line. The referee was left with no option but to give the on-loan Wigan Athletic right-back his marching orders and award a penalty, which Prince-Osei Owusu converted to level.
It was all the hosts now as Woodman did well to hold a volley from Max Mittelstadt, but the sheer determination of Solanke would get its just reward as he gave the Young Lions the lead again.
After forcing left-back Mittelstadt into a back pass, he continued his run and as Konigsmann panicked. Solanke took advantagen to nick the ball from the keeper’s feet and roll home from 18 yards.
And it was double delight for England nine minutes later as Maitland-Niles secured the victory with a thunderbolt strike.
Callum Connolly, on at left back to replace Roberts after Solanke’s strike, carried the ball forward down the left and enjoyed some nice interplay with Maitland-Niles. The Ipswich Town loanee was then allowed the freedom of the park to turn and pick his spot, as he unleashed a thunderous strike into the top corner from 25 yards.
That strike sucked the life out of Germany and Boothroyd’s charges looked in complete control until Henrichs pulled one back with a sizzling shot from 20 yards.
But despite their best efforts, Taylor Moore and captain Jake Clarke-Salter were in formidable form at the back as they blocked, cleared and denied at every opportunity.
In fact, Woodman was only called into action in additional time to deny Henrichs from distance again.
A positive start to the campaign for England, who travel to Zagred tomorrow to take on Croatia on Monday.
Germany (4-3-2-1): 1 Timo Konigsmann; 2 Johannes Buhler, 4 Lukas Boeder, 5 Benedikt Gimber (Captain)13 Max Mittelstadt; 17 Suat Serdar, 6 Gino Fechner, 7 Benjamin Henrichs; 19 Prince-Osei Owusu, 11 Philipp Ochs; 10 Arianit Ferati.
Substitutes: 24 Dominik Schad for Buhler 4, 16 Fridolin Wagner for Serdar 70, 9 Enis Bunjaki for Ferati 70, 3 Jannes-Kilian Horn for Mittelstadt 75
Subs not used: 12 Dominik Reimann, 23 Moritz Nicolas, 8 Marvin Mehlem, 14 Robin Ziegele, 15 Jordan Torunarigha, 18 Amara Conde, 20 Erik Wekesser, 21 Joshua Endres, 22 Mike Bromer
Bookings: Henrichs 31, Fechner 70
Goals: Owusu 47, Henrichs 78
Head coach: Marcus Sorg
England (4-2-3-1): 1 Freddie Woodman (Crawley, on-loan from Newcastle); 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Wigan, on-loan from Everton), 5 Taylor Moore (RC Lens), 6 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 3 Tafari Moore (Arsenal); 4 Jordan Rossiter (Liverpool), 8 Lewis Cook (Leeds United); 10 Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Ipswich, on-loan from Arsenal), Patrick Roberts (Manchester City), 11 Sheyi Ojo (Wolves, on-loan from Liverpool); 9 Dominic Solanke (Vitesse, on-loan from Chelsea)
Substitutes: 12 Callum Connolly (Everton) for Roberts 56, 19 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) for Solanke 79, 16 Louis Reed (Sheffield United) for Maitland-Niles 83,
Subs not used: 13 Sam Howes (West Ham), 14 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham), 15 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 17 Josh Onomah (Tottenham), 18 Karlan Ahearne-Grant (Charlton), 20 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle)
Bookings: Ojo 45
Red card: Kenny 47
Goals: Ojo 36, Solanke 55, Maitland-Niles 64
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd