Germany won this year’s edition of FIFA Confederation Cup,beating South American champion Chile by one goal to nothing in a highly exciting and keenly contested game played in Saint Petersburg stadium, Russia.
Chile were the dominant side in the first half, and they dominated ball possession and pinned the Germans to their own half of the pitch with their high press and unceasing attacking play.
The South American champion wasted so many scoring opportunities during the match. Lack of composure in front of goal was their undoing in this match in which they played their hearts out from the beginning to the end.
Alexis Sanchez missed a chance to put his side ahead in the twentieth minute of the game . A Vidal’s shot inside Germany’s penalty box was spilled by Andrea Ter Stegen right in front of an onrushing Sanchez, but his feeble shot inside the six yard box flew away from the goal post.
The next minute Germany scored their match wining-goal against the run of play. Marcelo Diaz receives a pass from his team mate at the periphery of his penalty box, he executes a turn and evades a Germany player on his left side; Timo Werner charges at him from his left hand side, wins the ball and beats an onrushing Bravo and then sends a pass to an unmarked Lars Stindl who rolls the ball into the open net.
After Germany’s goal, they fell back and defended in numbers as Chile poured forward in search of an equalizer.Chile’s high press made them vulnerable to Germany’s counter attack; Werner and Draxler used their speed to trouble their opponent whenever they counter-attacked from the flanks.
Leon Goretzka and Draxler wasted clear goal-scoring chances to double Germany’s lead when Germany struck the La Roja with their counter-attacking football.
The second half resumed and the game assumed the shape it had in the first half.Germany showed great defensive discipline in the face of Chile’s spirited effort to equalize.
With Chile in search of equalizer and repeatedly frustrated by the stout defensive play of their opponent, tempers began to rise.The VAR had to call the central referee Milorad Mazic’s attention to the malicious elbow Gonzalo Jara plunged into Werner,s face, as he was racing with the ball towards Chile’s penalty box.
Vidal and his Bayern Munich’s team mate Joshua Kimmich were also involved in a scuffle in Chile’s half of the pitch, which later resulted in the German players warming up outside the pitch joining the fray .
This was followed much later by a comical struggle between Emre Can and Bravo.The Liverpool’s mid-fielder had collided with Sanchez and fell to the ground, clutching the ball in his hands to prevent the resumption of play : a melee ensured and Bravo raced to Can and tried to forcefully wrest the ball from him.
Germany continued to defend as a cohesive unit and this prevented Chile from making inroads into their penalty box.Two powerful shots from Vidal and Eduardo Vagras were expertly dealt with by Ter Stegen
As the minutes ticked away, Chile stepped up their attacking play.Sanchez dribbling run from the left flank took him into Germany penalty box, but his final shot was intercepted by Sebastian Rudy’s timely tackle.
Sanchez was on hand a again to trouble Germany in the seventh fourth minute.He waltzed his way into the opponent’s half and was shoved off the ball before he could shoot;and Vidal , reacting quicker than every other person inside the penalty box, hit the ball but his shot flew over the crossbar.Chile’s players’ appeal for a penalty on an earlier shove on Sanchez was declared by the VAR as unwarranted.
Two second half substitutes, Edson Puch and Antonio Sagal, almost brought about Chile’s equalizer in the eighty fourth minute. The ball is crossed into Germany’s penalty box, Puch races to it before it goes out of play and reaches it before Ter Stergen who also makes a run for it , Puch squares it to Sagal inside the penalty box but he blasts the ball over the crossbar.
Rudy offered Chile the last opportunity go get back into the game when he fouled Vidal close to the penalty box. The free kick that was awarded was taken by Sanchez whose strike was moving into the goal only for Ter Stegen to push it out of danger.
Germany kept their nerve till the end of the game.
When these two teams met at the group stage, it ended in a one-one draw, but today’s match showed that they have improved vastly since they last played.
Today’s victory vindicates Low’s decision to field a youthful and inexperienced players for this tournament.It is also a message to other teams coming for next years World Cup finals that Germany have a vast number of talented players to choose from when they are coming for the defense the trophy they won four years ago in Brazil.