Germany and Chile battled to a hugely entertaining 1-1 draw in the group stage of the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup. The two sides will meet again on July 2 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to decide whose side gets to take home their first ever Confederations Cup trophy.
Road to the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup Finals: Germany
Germany came through unscathed during the preliminary stage of the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup. The Guardian reports that Germany comfortably defeated Australia 3-2 in their first game, with Lars Stindl, Julian Draxler, and Leon Goretzka each scoring a goal for Germany.
Chile proved to be a tougher nut to crack as the Germans managed to salvage a draw against the quick-starting Chile side in their second game. Alexis Sanchez of Chile scored the first goal at the sixth-minute mark before Lars Stindl scored the tying goal in the 41st-minute of the first half. In their last group stage assignment, Germany outscored Cameroon 3-1 with Timo Werner producing a brace and Kerem Demirbay rounding out the Germany’s total score.
BBC reports that Germany booked a finals date with Chile for the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup by defeating Mexico in the knockout stage. Leon Goretzka blitzed the Mexicans with two goals in the opening minutes of the match while Timo Werner and Amin Younes each added one goal.
Road to the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup Finals: Chile
Chile finished second in the group stage of the 2017 Confederations Cup behind Germany, winning once and drawing twice. Chile blanked Cameroon in their first game, with Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas each scoring a late goal for La Roja.
As mentioned above, Chile squandered an early lead against Germany with Alexis Sanchez scoring early and Lars Stindl scoring the equalizer before the half-time break. In their final group stage match, substitute Martin Rodriguez scored the tying goal as Chile came from 1-0 down against Australia to force a draw.
The Inquistr reported that Chile earned the right to play Germany in the 2017 Confederations Cup finals by defeating the heavily favored Portugal team in the Knockout stage. Claudio Bravo played the hero by blanking Portugal in the ensuing penalty shootout while Chile converted all their three penalty attempts.
Key Players to Watch: Germany
Germany didn’t field its regular roster and left most of its stars out of the lineup for the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup, and yet the Germans breezed past its assignments with relative ease. According to ESPN FC, Germany boss Joachim Low is confident that his young players can win the tournament. And Low’s assessment of his team’s depth and talent is accurate. Few can deny that Germany’s young talents have dazzled during the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup, with their team still undefeated prior to their rematch against Chile. With three goals each to their names, Leon Goretzka and Timo Werner are the prime candidates to receive the Adidas Golden Boot. And as such, they would be marked men in the finals of the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup.
Key Players to Watch: Chile
While Claudio Bravo played the hero in Chile’s penalty shootout victory over Portugal, much of their success in the tournament can be attributed to their old-hands: Arturo Vidal, Francisco Silva, Felipe Gutierez, Charles Aranguiz, and Alexis Sanchez. That being said, Chile has a group of hardworking, experienced players that seemingly enjoy playing together as evidenced by their relatively successful 2017 season. They have enough talent to threaten Germany’s talented youngsters, as they have shown during their group stage match.
Which Team has the Edge?
Put it this way: Germany sent in their second stringers and managed to get through the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup Finals without missing a beat, while Chile with its star-studded lineup, also hasn’t lost in the tournament, managing to dispatch the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal. Looking at the tournament results thus far, Germany seemingly has an edge. But Chile has the experience and the advantage of having to play close matches while Germany hasn’t been threatened.
So it would probably come down to who wants it more. However, most teams regard this tournament as a sort of friendly. Then again, fans of the beautiful game know that when it comes to the pitch, there is no such thing as a friendly match. Especially if the players have made it this far, and they are carrying their country’s colors. And regardless who wins the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup, it would be an entertaining finals match, especially if their group stage draw is any indication.
[Featured Image by Martin Meissner/AP Images]