Mat Hummels celebrates with his team mates.

Germany forced Chile to 1-1 draw in the second Group B match that was played today in Kazan, Russia.The score of that match being similar to the one played earlier in the day by the indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Socceroos of Australia, made it mathematically possible for any two of the four teams in Group B to still qualify for  the semi-final stage of the competition – though Chile and Germany have greater chances of qualifying from the group, due to the superior number of points they have earned in their two matches.

The first goal of the match was scored by Alexis Sanchez in the sixth minute of the match. A  pass  by Shkrodan Mustafi from the periphery of of his penalty box was intercepted by Sanchez, who played a one-to-one pass with Arturol Vidal that created space for him to race with the ball into Germany’s six yard box and scored from a very tight angle.

Lars Stindl equalized for Germany, and his  two goals in a as many matches made him the highest goal scorer in the tournament so far.In the build up to his goal, Emre Can laid a weighted pass to Hector Jonas inside Chile’s penalty box; the attack-minded left full back, on sighting onrushing Stindl , crossed  the ball to him inside Chile’s six yard box , from where he smashed  the ball unerringly into the net.

Though this match was expected to be a very explosive encounter between two football giants, it did not live up to its billing.The relatively youthful and inexperienced German team showed its greenness in the first half, as exemplified by the serious mistakes made by Mustafi.It took them some time to adjust to the high-energy game of the Chileans but they soon settled into the game as the match went on.

In the early first half exchanges, Sanchez was a thorn in the flesh of the German defenders. His signature dribbling moves, good positioning and defense-splitting flicks required a concerted marking from the German defenders to curtail his onslaught.

Chile almost scored a second goal in the nineteenth minute of the game when Eduardo Vagras’ powerful shot from outside the eighteen yard box hit the cross bar.

The La Roja were playing a high-press which made them vulnerable to a counter-attacking play.It was from such a moment of Chile’s mass attack that an opening was created  for Germany’s equalizer.A pass from Germany’s half of the pitch found Emre Can in the middle of the pitch;the Liverpool’s versatile mid-fielder sprinted unmarked through the wide space at the center of the pitch till he came close to the opponent’s penalty box.Can then had ample time and space to feed his final pass to Hector in a dangerous position.

The second half resumed and the two teams effectually neutralized each other.Germany had more ball possession and were tidier in their passing.Energized and encouraged by their equalizer,they took the game to their opponent with greater confidence but the well-drilled Chile’s team was able to rebuff their attacks till the match ended. 

Vidal, playing as a box- to-box mid-fielder, was at the heart of the La Roja’s game.He threw several tackles, made vital interceptions and his aerial ability, he put to good use when his team attacked Germany from set pieces. 

Leon Goretzka was unable to impose himself on the game from the mid-field the way he did in his first game against Australia. Emre Can became the source of passes for his team mates in the final third of Chile’s half of the pitch.Can made his presence felt in all the sections of the mid-field, influencing play with his passes and good reading of the game.

Sebastian Rudy was the Germany’s own version of Arturol Vidal in today’s game, the Hoffeinheim’s mid-fielder was not easy to shake off in the middle of the pitch; he broke several of Chile’s attacking moves with timely sliding tackle and was unafraid to put his body on the line when occasions demanded it. He doubled attacking duties with defensive ones without being winded.

Sanchez operated in this game the way he does in Arsenal: he was given limitless latitude to play from any position in the attacking line.Periodically,he would withdraw deep into the mid-field to initiate attacking moves: thus allowing his other team mates to occupy  vantage offensive positions.

When the final whistle was blown, it was clear that a draw was a true reflection of what both teams gave in the encounter.

The two teams now require just a draw to advance to the semi-final stage of this competition, but it is not going to be easy for either of them because Cameroon and Australia, still with a fighting chance to qualify, won’t be easily brushed aside.But considering the point distribution among the four teams,it is certain that the last two games would be very explosive encounters.