Lithuania faced Sweden in their Pool A opener in Rostock ©IBSA Goalball/Twitter

Lithuania's men made a winning start to their International Blind Sports Association Goalball European Championships title defence in Rostock, Germany.

The reigning champions defeated the United States to win Paralympic gold at Rio 2016 and opened their European Championships account with a 17-7 victory against Greece at Ospa-Arena.

The reigning European champions followed that up with another high-scoring 14-4 victory against Sweden.

At Stadthalle Rostock, Greece fell to a second defeat of the day, losing 13-6 against Turkey, while Ukraine got off to a winning start with an 11-1 scoreline against Sweden.

In the final match of the men's session, Turkey concluded a perfect day with a 10-0 win over Ukraine.

In Pool B, world bronze medallists Belgium held off a gutsy Czech Republic squad to win 8-5 in their first match in Rostock.

Finland won back-to-back games, defeating both Spain and Czech Republic 11-5.

Germany recorded a 10-0 win against Belgium to earn a second win in two days.

Four of the men's sides - Germany, Lithuania, Belgium and Turkey - have already booked their tickets to Tokyo 2020, meaning the highest-placed finisher of the other nations will seal a place at next year's Paralympic Games.

In the women, defending champions Russia made a commanding start to their Pool X campaign with a 14-4 triumph against Denmark.

They backed that up by defeating Ukraine 10-6.

Ukraine registered a first victory when beating Greece, who had earlier triumphed 3-2 against Finland, 1-0.

Hosts Germany backed up yesterday's Pool Y win against The Netherlands by defeating Britain 4-2.

Britain had earlier succumbed to Turkey, 3-2.

Finland made amends for their loss to Greece by overcoming Denmark 5-2.

Israel then defeated Germany 9-3 in the last game of the day.

One spot in Tokyo is on offer in the women's championship. 

Russia and Turkey secured their tickets to Japan at last year's World Championship.

Pool matches conclude in Germany tomorrow, with the knockout phase starting on Friday (October 11).