Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Germany Converts a Mistake by Chile Into a Confederations Cup Title

Germany’s players with the Confederations Cup trophy after their victory over Chile in the final. Credit Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press


Germany capitalized on an awful mistake and survived a whirlwind assault by Chile to claim a 1-0 victory in a pulsating, bad-tempered Confederations Cup final on Sunday.
Germany, which won the title for the first time, got the only goal of the game from Lars Stindl in the 20th minute when Chile midfielder Marcelo Díaz gave the ball away on the edge of his own penalty area.
“I’m immensely proud of this team, because they have been together for only three and half weeks,” Germany’s coach, Joachim Löw, said.
Löw brought a young, experimental team to the competition, leaving behind players such as Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller. The average age of the German team at the Confederations Cup was just over 24, compared with an average of over 30 for Chile.

“The fact that these young players have won this tournament makes it an historic achievement,” Löw said. “It’s unique in Germany’s history, it’s outstanding.”

Chile, playing with its usual high-octane style and driven forward by another relentless performance by Arturo Vidal, dominated the match but was let down by poor finishing.

Alexis Sanchez, left, shot wide against the defense of Germany’s Marc-André ter Stegen, one of several missed opportunities for Chile. Credit Darren Staples/Reuters

The game featured missed chances, defensive miscues, scuffles and two video reviews, including one that produced a controversial decision in the second half.
Chile defender Gonzalo Jara elbowed Timo Werner by the sideline and the Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, alerted by the video assistants, let Jara off with a yellow card instead of a red. Shortly afterward, Mazic turned down Chile’s appeals for a penalty and stood by his decision after another review — and booked Chile’s Eduardo Vargas for drawing an imaginary television screen.
It was a remarkable achievement for Germany to lift the trophy with such a relatively inexperienced squad, although it could also be a bad omen: No team has won the World Cup after winning the Confederations Cup the year before.

Alexis Sanchez had a golden opportunity to put Chile in front early, but he shot wide from close range after German goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen parried a shot by Vidal.
Germany struck almost immediately after when Díaz, turning away from Stindl on the edge of his penalty area, lost the ball to Werner, who drew the attention of Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and slipped the ball across to Stindl for an easy tap-in.
Chile kept missing chances and nearly gave Germany another goal before halftime when Jara lost the ball on defense, but Bravo saved Leon Goretzka’s shot.
In the third-place match in Moscow, Portugal fought back from a one-goal deficit to beat Mexico, 2-1, in extra time.
Facing defeat at the end of the 90 minutes, Portugal sent the game into extra time with Pepe’s volley. Adrien Silva won the game with a penalty kick in the 104th minute after Miguel Layún’s handball.