Germany fight to draw against Chile

Germany and Chile went head to head as Group B’s top sides lock horns in attempt to secure their progression to the finals.

What happened

Arguably the strongest teams at the Confederations Cup both made key changes from their last start matches. Germany made four from their game against Australia with Emre Can, Niklas Süle and Matthias Ginter all starting in outfield while Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen replaced Bernd Leno in goals. Meanwhile the Chileans made one key change, star man Alexis Sanchez starting up front and the difference in class was obvious early on.

Six minutes in German defender Shkodran Mustafi gave the ball away with a cheap pass while under pressure from both Arturo Vidal and Sanchez. Within seconds the two combined with a simple one-two, which saw Sanchez finish of the move with a classy shot whilst falling over. It was the 400th goal in Confederations Cup history and it made Sanchez the all time leading goal scorer for Chile.

The Germans struggled with the pace and fluidity of the Chilean attack throughout the first half as the combination of Sanchez, Vidal and Eduardo Vargas nipped and weaved their way into dangerous areas that was proving too fast for German defence to handle and on 20 minute mark, Vargas was denied shot of the tournament when a 20-yard pile driver cracked the crossbar.

However, Germany had never been in a goalless draw in a Confederations Cup match and after growing into the game they had their equaliser. 41 minutes in Lars Stindl scored his second Confederations Cup goal and his second international goal of all time when Can found Jonas Hector out wide who then crossed first time, where Stindl was ready and waiting in the six yard box to tap in the leveller.

The second half began with the same intensity as the first but this time the Germans matched the Chileans attacking fluidity and defensive pressure. Both defences made a number of last-ditch tackles and intercepts to deny goal-scoring opportunities.

However, the second half didn’t produce any clear cut chances, a Sanchez freekick the closest Chile went to scoring with the ball floating just over the bar.

The game finished 1-1 as neither side managed to secure their promotion into the final rounds. Chile will arguably be the most disappointed as they were the better team for larger parts of the match but the Germans hung tough to get themselves an all important point.

Standout performances

For Germany the form of Julian Draxler was clear to see. Much like in his match against Australia the PSG winger was simply untouchable on the ball and was always looking to create something. Perhaps if he was surrounded by some stronger teammates the scoreline would have been different.

As for Chile the addition of Alexis Sanchez to the starting line up was astronomical, scoring after just six minutes and was a constant threat all night. 

Talking points

Germany are the youngest squad at the Confederations Cup this year while Chile are the oldest and once again it was experience that got the better of youthful exuberance. This Chile side has played over ten years together and their team culture was on show tonight, it’s no wonder they have won back-to-back Copa America titles.

What it means

The results means both Germany and Chile have opened a window for their other group B rivals, Cameroon and Australia, who also played out a 1-1 draw earlier. Both Chile and Germany sit top of the group on four points while Australia and Cameroon both have one, which means that both team have a chance to progress in the last game. However, they will have to win their respective games by two or more goals to progress on goal difference.

Needs work 

When you’re the two best teams in the competition it’s a little hard to find things to improve on but both sides can still do with some touch ups. Germany clearly struggled with the relenting pressure placed on them by Chile and were fortunate that intensity didn’t last throughout the match as the scoreline could have been very different.

As for Chile, their potency in front of goal needs work. Sanchez is an excellent finisher but on far too many occasions he was at the start of the play feeding the ball to another attacking player. If they can get this to be the other way round, like the first goal, Chile will have no problem sweeping aside other opponents. 

Goals of the day

Only two goals to choose from so the award goes to Sanchez whose calm finish, while being pushed to the ground, showed how much class the attacker really has. 

Miss of the day

Miss of the day comes with a twist as the accolade is handed Eduardo Vargas, who cracked the crossbar from 20 yards out. Obviously its not a terrible miss but the crossbar denied us what surely would have been the goal of the tournament.

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