In the absence of majority of the senior names, Germany’s young brigade showed why their future is bright by beating an experienced Chile side 1-0 to lift their Confederations Cup in Russia on Sunday.
Lars Stindl’s first-half goal which came from a horrific error from Marcelo Diaz against the run of play proved to be the difference-maker for the world champions at St Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium. Despite dominating in the midfield for most of the game, Chile failed to find the back of the net.
The loss will disappoint Copa America winners Chile, who were seeking a first FIFA tournament triumph, as they were unable to use their experience defeat a young and inexperienced opponents
Chile came out for the game dominating the opening proceedings and it took an Antonio Rudiger clearance to deny Charles Aranguiz inside the box in the fifth minute while Marc-Andre ter Stegen did well to keep out Arturo Vidal’s shot from a rebound.
Germany, however, broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 20 minute when Timo Werner capitalized on an error from Marcelo Diaz to tee up Lars Stindl, who just had to tap the ball into the open net.
Chile show great persistence as they kept on pressing the Germans up the field but were devoid of any clear-cut chances. They almost went 2-0 down when Julian Draxler led a counter-attack, combining with Sebastian Rudy to release Leon Goretzka on the right but the Schalke midfielder shot wide. Chile’s ultra-attacking approach would have instantly taken the game out of their reach.
Tempers started to flare in the match with Joshua Kimmich having verbal spats on more than one occasion including one with Bayern Munich team-mate Vidal. The controversial Video Assistant Refree technology was once again in the spotlight, this time for Gonzalo Jara’s nasty elbow against the jaw of Werner which was initially missed by match official Milorad Mazic. Inexplicably, the Serbian refree somehow only gave a yellow card following a review of what looked like a direct red offense.
Liverpool’s Emre Can was embroiled in a skirmish with almost half a dozen Chile player’s after bowling over Sanchez, Bravo rushing from his goal to become involved, as did Low from the touchline.
Ter Stegen made a nice save five minutes into stoppage-time, from a 25-yard Sanchez free-kick to deny Chile from the game’s last sight of goal and make sure of Die Mannschaft’s incredible triumph.
Germany finished as the top scorers of the competition with skipper Julian Draxler bagging the Golden Ball award for tournament’s best player while young striker Timo Werner took home the Golden Boot.