Germany began their campaign with a 1-0 win over China thanks to a goal from teenager Giulia Gwinn on her first competitive appearance.
China held Germany for much of the Group B game in Rennes on Saturday afternoon.
Yang Li came close for China while Germany’s Carolin Simon hit the bar before 19-year-old Gwinn scored from the edge of the penalty area.
Germany could easily have been two goals down if China’s Yang took two opportunities in front of goal.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg will be happy with how her first competitive game in charge of Germany ended, but will no doubt look for a better performance on Wednesday when they meet Spain in Valenciennes.
Gwinn’s goal ended a run of five hours and 11 minutes without a goal for Germany, in what was their worst-ever run without scoring at the Women’s World Cup.
The 66th minute winner meant Germany are now the joint top scorers in Women’s World Cup history, level with the United States on 112 goals.