'Lucky' Jerome Boateng thanks long legs for goalmouth save versus Ukraine

Germany defender Jerome Boateng was thankful for his "long legs" after his dramatic goal line clearance helped the world champions win their Euro 2016 opener against Ukraine.

Germany won 2-0 in Lille on Sunday thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger, but they were indebted to Boateng and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer against a spirited Ukrainian team.

Boateng, 27, made a vital intervention after 37 minutes when Germany were leading 1-0 but coming under sustained pressure in the Group C fixture.

Andriy Yarmolenko picked out Yevhen Konoplyanka at the back post but a backpedalling Boateng somehow recovered to volley clear the Ukrainian's cross-shot inches from his own line.

Asked if it was one of the best clearances of his career, the Bayern Munich centre-back said it rivalled a crucial block he had made in Germany's 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina.

"I think so," he told ESPN FC. "I had also one in the World Cup final that I think was similar. But with this one I was lucky that I have long legs."

Boateng was also happy to see Schweinsteiger come off the bench to seal the win in stoppage time.

The Germany captain had a difficult season with Manchester United but Boateng thinks Schweinsteiger's first international goal in five years will boost the whole team.

"Of course we are all happy for him," Boateng said. "He fought to be here at this tournament and now we hope he is getting fit to 100 percent."

Germany have now won all five tournament openers they have played under manager Joachim Low without conceding a goal, but they were strongly tested by Ukraine.

Ahead of further group games against Poland and Northern Ireland, Boateng felt his team deserved the three points.

"We expected a tough game. Ukraine is not a bad team," he said. "I think we started good and at the end of the first half we struggled.

"We didn't put them under pressure anymore and then it's hard against a team like them. In the second half I think we were the better team and deserved to get the second goal."