Germany are first-time Confederations Cup champions, defeating Chile 1-0 in the final in St. Petersburg. Germany converted 20 minutes in, and withstood a full assault from Chile to get the win. It’s their first Confederations Cup victory, and they’ll return to Russia in one year’s time to defend their World Cup title.
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Chile – 0 – 0 0
Germany– 1 – 0 1
At this point, the way they conceded, a loss would be devastating for Chile. You can’t give goals to the World Cup champions, and that’s exactly what they did. Chile have everything to play for in the second half, but conceding another on the counter would put this final on ice.
GOAL! Stindl (20′)
Chile are the oldest team in the tournament, and after four games in two weeks, their legs could be called into question.
Starting a roster with an average age of 29, Chile played 120 minutes earlier this week before knocking out Portugal in penalty kicks. While La Roja seemed to increase their intensity as the game wore on, it’s hard not to think of their stamina when they take on a youthful German team.
Joachim Low’s squad isn’t just the youngest of the eight in Russia, but they’ve hardly been tested. They cruised through the group stage, and had Mexico on the ropes within ten minutes en route to a 4-1 victory. It isn’t the best of Germany’s player pool, but it’s surely the brightest. Draxler and Kimmich are the known quantities, but players like Schalke attacker Leon Goretzka have only added to Low’s already impressive depth.
These teams met less than two weeks ago in the group stage, where they settled for a 1-1 draw. The game started with an uncharacteristic mistake from Germany; a loose ball pounced upon by Alexis Sanchez for Chile’s lone goal. Lars Stindl equalized for Germany just before halftime, and the teams were unable to create any separation. Don’t expect similar mistakes from Germany, who are usually the ones doing the pouncing.
Germany are the defending World Cup champions, and a victory in Russia only brings added depth and experience to their ranks. For Chile, this match is an important benchmark for their global standing. They have been atop South America for a few years, but a win over the world champions would give them tremendous confidence coming back to Russia next summer.