Germany’s young guns more than held their own against Chile’s experienced side as Lars Stindl scored the winning goal, capitalizing on Marcelo Diaz’s massive mid-field error. The win gave Germany their first ever FIFA Confederations Cup championship and served as an indication that Joachim Low’s young squad are ready for first-team duties.
Story of the match: Germany capitalized on Chile’s error; Chile fails to convert
Much like their Group B encounter, Germany and Chile thrilled the jam-packed Krestovsky Stadium at St. Petersburg, Russia, with an entertaining match. The Telegraph reports that Chile started stronger than they did during their Group B encounter with Germany.
Chile was the brighter side in the opening minutes of the match, wreaking havoc on Chile’s defensive line at every opportunity. Chile dominated the first 10 minutes of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Final, with Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz, Antonio Rudiger, and Pablo Hernandez combining at separate times to threaten Germany. However, Germany’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was up to the challenge and saved two shots on goal in that span. Germany hit back, with Julian Draxler creating opportunities for his teammates and Joshua Kimmich sending a lovely cross, which Shkodran Mustafi failed to convert.
A couple of minutes later, Leon Goretzka fouled Vidal from 30 yards out. Sanchez took it short, and a moment later, Mauricio Isla got off a shot that was off-target. Another chance for Chile came a minute later when Vidal forced Ter Stegen to make a save and Sanchez failed to capitalize on the rebound-and-turn opportunity.
The opportunity came for Germany when Chile’s midfielder Marcelo Diaz turned the ball over just on the edge of the box. Timo Werner collected the ball and ran on goal. Chile’s semifinal hero Claudio Bravo set out to meet the German striker who then neatly sent the ball across Lars Stindl. With an open net, it was just a simple tap, and just like that, Germany’s side was a goal up at the 20-minute mark. Chile fought back, pressing again at every opportunity while Germany seemed content to sit back and counter-attack the rest of the action-packed first half.
The second half started almost the same way as the first half did, with Chile charging forward and Germany on the counter. A scuffle broke out between Vidal and Kimmich after Kimmich seemed to intentionally hit Bravo’s leg. The rest of the match went on, with Chile squandering good chances to tie the score and Ter Stegen making timely saves.
It is difficult to imagine that the more experienced Chileans were the ones who became more frustrated while the young guns of Germany kept their cool as the match neared its end. The best for Chile came in injury time when a free kick was awarded to the South Americans in a juicy spot. Sanchez lined up for the shot and sent the ball to the goalkeeper’s side. Ter Stegen was up to the challenge and did just enough to deflect the ball away, ending Chile’s furious comeback and, in turn, gifting Germany their first ever FIFA Confederations Cup title.
Germany’s run in the tournament is an impressive feat for Joachim Low. Considered as Germany’s B-team with their mainstays left off the lineup, the squad captained by Julian Draxler breezed through the tournament, winning all but one of their assignments. The only blemish on Germany’s immaculate run was the aforementioned draw against La Roja. However, in the end, none of it mattered, as Germany’s future looks bright based on how their young talents performed.
ESPN FC reports that Portugal scored a comeback victory against Mexico to secure third place in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017. The Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal overcame an own goal (Mexico’s Luis Neto credited with the goal) and battled back into the game. Portugal’s Pepe scored in injury time to tie the game and sent it to extra time. Adrien Silva scored the winning goal, via penalty, at the 104th minute of the match.
- Adidas Golden Ball: Julian Draxler of Germany (best player of the tournament)
- Silver Ball: Alexis Sanchex of Chile
- Bronze Ball: Leon Goretzka of Germany
- Adidas Golden Boot: Timo Werner of Germany (tournament top scorer: 3 goals and 2 asissts)
- Silver Boot: Lars Stindle and Leon Goretzka (3 goals each)
- Adidas Golden Glove: Claudio Bravo of Chile (tournament best goalkeeper)
[Featured Image by Martin Meissner/AP Images]