Stefanie Saunders gave Germany victory over Nigeria’s U-20 female national team, the Falconets, on Monday in their opening Group D match in Saint-Malo.
A goalless first half produced little between two sides who previously contested the final of this competition in 2010 and 2014.
Germany made a bright start in the first half while Nigeria looked more confident in the second half.
The contest came to life after the break, with the decisive moment occurring in 69 minutes when the Europeans claimed the lead following a corner and resulting header that struck the crossbar. The loose ball fell to Saunders, who knocked home from close range to put the Germans in front.
Nigeria replied positively to falling behind and were unlucky not to level the scoreline just three minutes later. A free-kick into the Germany box saw the ball fall to Peace Efih, whose swerving strike hit the post and bounced away to safety.
The Christopher Danjuma-led side will be hoping to get themselves to winning ways when they face Haiti on Thursday, August 9.
Germany currently tops the group with three points, while Nigeria sits bottom of the group.