Germany's youngsters held a 3-2 lead against the Socceroos, but Bernd Leno had a difficult match in goal. Leon Goretzka bagged his first ever Germany goal in Sochi.
Australia 2 - 3 Germany
(Rogic 41', Juric 56' - Stindl 5', Draxler 44' pen, Goretzka 48')
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
It says a lot for the depth of Germany's younger talent pool that Joachim Löw could send practically a youth team to the Confederations Cup in the midst of the under-21 Euros in Poland. None of Germany's starters in Sochi on Monday had played in the 2014 World Cup final, and only a few seem likely to figure heavily in the real Russian competition next year.
Julian Draxler, 23, wore the armband, while Sandro Wagner, 29, was the oldest starter of the evening.
Lars Stindl - another comparative fossil at the grand old age of 28 - broke the deadlock within five minutes, finishing calmly after Joshua Kimmich and Julian Brandt unlocked the Socceroos' left flank. This Kimmich-Brandt damage inflicted down the right became a regular fixture for the game to come until Brandt made way in the second half.
Germany then notched up around a dozen unanswered chances without ever managing to establish a cushion. Sandro Wagner in particular might have scored with a diving header or a left-footed one-on-one. Shortly before the end of the half, Australia capitalized on this wastefulness. Thomas Rogic's first shot was blocked, putting Bernd Leno off balance in goal. The ball fell back to Rogic, who fired again; Leno reached the ball but could not deal with it.
Seconds after the restart, though, Germany regained control, winning a penalty that Draxler converted, wrongfooting Mathew Ryan in the Australian goal.
Leon Goretzka's goal soon after half time seemed to be the death knell for any competitive element to the match. However, Bernd Leno was on hand to offer hope to the Australians. Leno spilled a shot in the box, allowing Tomi Juric to pull the score back to 3-2.
Despite showing considerable superiority in terms of possession, chances and technical prowess, Germany were not able to cement their advantage during regular time. Timo Werner, on for Wagner late in the game, missed a couple of particularly strong chances, hitting the post with the first and narrowly missing in stoppage time after a lengthy dribble.
Germany's experimental side - playing a back four without the ball and more of a back three when in possession - broadly controlled a game they were always favorites to win. However, two slack moments in defense and some wasted chances in attack created a more tense opening game of the competition than many expected.
You can re-read our live coverage of the match as it happened below.