So, it is final time. Germany are up against Chile in St. Petersburg, guaranteeing a new name on the roll of Confederations Cup honour. Joachim Löw’s men have been the hot shots at the tournament with eleven goals, while the Chileans are the misers at the back, only having conceded twice. It is a repeat of the group game last week, where both teams produced an entertaining 1-1 draw in Kazan.
There’s no need to provide any additional background statistics. Just have a look at the previous match report and analysis for that. In simple terms, Germany are unbeaten in competitive meetings with the current South American champions, and extending this record by one more match will guarantee them their first Confederations Cup title.
There is only one change made by the Nationaltrainer, with Shkodran Mustafi coming in for Benjamin Henrichs. Is this another case of the coach tinkering too much, or does he know something we don’t? While Henrichs was excellent off the bench against Cameroon in the final group game and a breath of fresh air in the semi-final against Mexico, Mustafi was little more than a disaster in his last outing – against the Chileans.
The Arsenal defender not only gave the ball away with a poor early pass to give Chile the lead, but was also lucky to stay on the pitch for a challenge that went unseen by the officials. That said, Jogi has got it right so far in this tournament. Perhaps he knows something that we all don’t.
It is a warm evening in the historic city of St. Petersburg, and both teams are in good voice for the national anthems. Serbian referee Milorad Mažić makes his way to the centre of the pitch, and we are ready to begin. As in the previous meeting in Kazan, Germany are in their usual white and black kit while Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men are in all red with blue socks.
1 min. The South American champions get things under way.
2 mins. Alexis Sánchez has a shot from distance, but there’s no harm there and it rolls wide.
3 mins. Chile have started the brighter of the two teams, and a nice one-two between Eduardo Vargas and Arturo Vidal is nulified by the offside flag.
5 mins. Lars Stindl needlessly gives the ball away in midfield, and Chile are on the attack again. Charles Aránguiz has a good sight of the German goal and is excellently blocked by Antonio Rüdiger, and Marc-André ter Stegen makes the save as another shot comes in.
7 mins. Chile are pressing hard here, and Vidal has a shot from outside the box that is easily gathered by ter Stegen.
11 mins. Sánchez finds Vargas, whose shot floats over the German goal. Chile are quick to get forward again, and this time Sánchez makes space for a shot only for Mustafi to slide in and put the ball behind for a corner. Chile are unable to make anything of it though.
13 mins. Another error, this time by Leon Goretzka as he makes a mess of collecting Rüdiger’s pass. Vargas seizes upon it and fires a shot from just outside the penalty area, but ter Stegen gets down well to collect the ball.
14 mins. Germany finally make some progress in the Chilean half, and Stindl makes a good break down the right before sending in a teasing cross. Timo Werner makes good ground and is waiting in the Chilean box, but Aránguiz is there to put the ball behind for a corner.
15 mins. Skipper Julian Draxler sends in the corner, and Mustafi heads it over.
18 mins. Vidal is bundled over by Goretzka, and Chile have a free-kick out on the right, some twenty-five yards out.
19 mins. The Chileans play a clever short free-kick and suddenly have an extra man in space, and right-back Mauricio Isla lashes his shot wide of the far post. Chile are quickly on the attack again, and ter Stegen can only parry Vidal’s initial effort. Sánchez has an excellent chance to put his team in front from the rebound, but somehow fluffs it. That was lucky.
20 mins. What’s this? At the other end of the pitch, Chile are mucking around at the back. Marcelo Díaz makes a complete hash of controlling the ball and is robbed by Werner, who controls the ball in front of Chilean ‘keeper Claudio Bravo before squaring it perfectly for Stindl who is lurking just outside the six-yard box. The ‘Gladbach man has all the time in the world to tap it into the back of the empty net with his right foot. What a passage of play that was. Out of absolutely nowhere, Germany are in front! 1-0.
Chilean ‘keeper Claudio Bravo can only look on, as Lars Stindl taps the ball into the empty net to give Germany the lead.
24 mins. Another sharp move from the Chileans sees another half chance, this time for Aránguiz following a crisp interchange between Vidal and Isla.
25 mins. Draxler storms forwards with purpose, but it is a case of one stepover too many and Gary Medel clears the danger for La Roja.
27 mins. Draxler finds Werner who bursts into space down the left, but the Leipzig striker is marginally offside.
28 mins. Sebastian Rudy sends a long ball towards Werner, but it is just a little too strong. The goal has certainly given the Germans the shot in the arm they needed, though the Chileans are continuing to work at full pelt.
29 mins. Chile are on the attack again, and a Sánchez cross from the right fizzes dangerously across the German box. There are plenty of red shirts around, but Jogi’s Jungs are able to clear their lines.
32 mins. More nice touches from the South Americans by the D, and the energetic Vidal sends in another shot that flies over the target.
35 mins. Vargas is intercepted by Rüdiger, and Chile win the corner. Aránguiz’s kick is cleared.
36 mins. Díaz is dispossessed by Draxler, who looks inside for Rudy. The defensive midfielder sends in a beautiful low pass out to the right to Goretzka, whose right-footed effort floats across Bravo and narrowly wide of the far post.
38 mins. Another sharp break by the Mannschaft, and Goretzka spots Werner in space in the box. The striker’s first touch is not the best though, and Isla cuts in to put it behind for a corner. Nothing forthcoming from that, though.
40 mins. Jonas Hector wins the ball and engineers another break, and it is the dynamic Werner who creates another opportunity. The German number eleven creates space for Draxler, who tries to beat Bravo at his near post rather than look for the top right-hand corner. The shot is firm enough, but the ball skids low to the ‘keeper’s right and just wide of the upright.
44 mins. Isla makes another break down the right for Chile, and combines well again with the busy Vargas. Sánchez gets a sight of goal, but his header is over the top. At the other end Kimmich is bundled over just outside the penalty area, but the referee waves play on.
45 mins. Another Chilean mistake, and another chance for Germany. This time Gonzalo Jara is robbed by Draxler, who finds Goretzka in space to his left. The number eight looks to get the ball onto his more favoured right foot, but this gives Bravo enough time to close him down and block the shot. An opportunity missed.
45+1 mins. The referee blows for half-time. Time to take a well-earned breather, and that is not just the twenty-two men out on the pitch.
That was a breathless half. Chile have been well on top for long spells and could easily be sitting pretty, but a catastrophic defensive error would give Germany the lead. In the end, the Mannschaft could have extended their advantage as they started to impress themselves on their opponents and force even more errors.
46 mins. We are back underway as Germany kick off.
49 mins. The early second half pressure is coming from the Chileans, but there has been no real drama so far.
50 mins. A clever ball from Stindl finds Werner in space down the left, but the Leipzig man is dispossessed by Islaas he looks to find a pass inside.
51 mins. In addition to what is probably be the easiest goal he will ever score, Stindl has been a real source of energy in the middle of the park. Here his smart pass picks out Goretzka, who isn’t quite able to create the space he needs.
53 mins. Sánchez is roaming with intent down the right and looks to send in a cross, but it floats harmlessly behind for a goal kick. There’s a change for Chile now, as Leonardo Valencia is on for Díaz.
55 mins. Draxler charges forward with purpose, accelerating into the Chilean box. Getting a sight of goal, he sends in a left-footed effort that is deflected behind by Jara. Excellent stuff from the German skipper. The corner is useless though, and Chile clear.
57 mins. Joshua Kimmich is fouled by the touchline, and wins a free-kick. Hector’s delivery is floated beautifully into the box, but both Mustafi and Matthias Ginter are crowded out by a number of red shirts.
58 mins. Handbags at two paces. Kimmich is not keen on the height of Bravo’s foot as he challanges for a long ball into the box, and there are a few words behind the Bayern man and the Chilean ‘keeper. Vidal joins in and has a bit of a shove-in with his FC Bayern team mate, before Medel enters the fray. The referee arrives and flashes the yellow card to both of the Bayern men. Silly.
63 mins. Ugh. Werner gets a clear elbow in the face from Jara, and play goes on. But wait. The video officials are on this, and there is going to be a conversation between them and Milorad Mažić. This has to be a red card, but Jara is only shown yellow. Are they going to get any decision right? For all the great football we have seen at this tournament, VAR has been an absolute disaster.
65 mins. The resulting free-kick is floated in from the left, and in a crowded penalty area the ball doesn’t quite fall for Rüdiger who is well marshalled by Medel. Bravo collects.
69 mins. Corner to Chile. Pedro-Pablo Hernández gets there first, but Germany clear.
70 mins. Stindl is brought down by Jean Beausejour. That was a sharp challenge. Just a free-kick.
71 mins. Valencia darts forward with purpose and puts the ball in the danger zone, but Ginter and Rüdiger combine to clear.
72 mins. Chile look to have upped a gear, and it’s all going in the German box. The ball doesn’t quite for the South Americans. Sánchez has the ball and swings a right boot, but Rudy slides in brilliantly to effect the block.
74 mins. La Roja have really picked up a second wind here. There’s another ball into the box directed towards Vargas, but shoots wide.
75 mins. It is still panic stations in the German box. The men in white are unable to clear, feet are flying everywhere, and Vidal launches a shot high over the bar. Sánchez goes down in the box, the referee goes over to the touchline for a chat with his video colleagues, but there’s no extra drama. Vargas has a shout at the referee, and is booked for dissent.
79 mins. There’s a defensive change for Germany. Werner is off, and Emre Can is on. Chile punt in a long hopeful ball for Vargas, but ter Stegen safely plucks the ball out of the air.
80 mins. Aránguiz fires in a shot from twenty yards, seeking out the bottom right-hand corner of the German net. The ball is probably going wide, but ter Stegen dives low to his right to make sure and palms it behind. Chile take the corner short, but cannot make anything of it.
81 mins. Chile look to up the ante without a double change. Aránguiz and Vargas are off, and are replaced by Angelo Sagal and Edson Puch.
82 mins. Valencia’s speculative shot is parried and then held by ter Stegen. He made that look far more difficult than it should have been.
83 mins. A couple of quick corners for the Chileans, but they are unable to do anything with them.
84 mins. Sánchez launches a high and hopeful ball into the German box. The busy Puch darts in front of ter Stegen and hooks it back inside, and Sagal fires an ugly shot high over target and into the stands. That was a chance.
87 mins. Germany win the ball out on the left and almost engineer a chance. Stindl cannot quite control the ball after collecting Kimmich’s pass, and Medel mops things up.
88 mins. A lovely move up and across the pitch from Germany now, and Kimmich’s cross is met by Draxler whose looping header is easy for Bravo. The German skipper is unaware that Rudy was there just behind him, in an even better position.
89 mins. Can is involved in a tumble with Sánchez, and holds onto the ball like a mother holding a baby. A crowd of red shirted-players and ‘keeper Bravo quickly surround him, and there’s more nonsense. Both Bravo and Can are booked for their trouble.
90+1 mins. Goretzka’s evening is over, and Niklas Süle is on. There will be five minutes of additional time.
90+2 mins. Vidal is brought down by Rudy’s late challenge, and the FC Bayern München new boy is the next player to make his way into the referee’s notebook.
90+4 mins. The final push from Chile. Ginter brings down Sagal some twenty-two yards out concede a dangerous free-kick. Hector smartly moves to guard the right of the goal, effectively forcing Sánchez to aim for the right corner. The Chilean star fires in a right-footed effort that is on target, but ter Stegen dives low to his left to push it away. The ball stays in front of the byline and Rüdiger chases it down before hoofing clear.
90+5 mins. It is all over. The last ten minutes have been unbearable, but there’s that welcome peep from the referee’s whistle to end the contest. It’s over, and Germany are Confederations Cup champions. What a game. Chile really came out with determination and desire, but it is the four-time World Champions who can now add an eighth international trophy to their crowded cabinet.
Both sets of players greet each other warmly, and the Chileans have taken defeat with good grace. They have fought tenaciously and came close to boiling point at the end, but there are smiles on both sides. Chile were more than worth the entrance fee and will probably feel that they should have taken more from the contest, but in the end it is Lars Stindl’s simple finish that separates the two teams.
Award time, and there are plenty of big names up on the podium including former World Cup winners Ronaldo and Diego Maradona. Timo Werner first steps up to collect the Golden Boot. He is joint-top scorer with both Stindl and Goretzka, but gets the nod on the number of assists. The next award the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player goes to Julian Draxler, a slightly surprising choice perhaps.
Skipper Julian Draxler holds the golden trophy aloft. Germany are champions!
Now for the teams. Chile collect their runners-up medals, followed by the German team and the coaches. Finally, skipper Draxler steps up to receive his medal before taking the trophy from FIFA president Gianni Infantino. The gold confetti explodes into the air, and the golden trophy is raised aloft!
Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, 02.07.2017
Stindl 20. / –
Germany: ter Stegen – Rüdiger, Mustafi, Ginter – Kimmich, Rudy, Goretzka (90.+2. Süle), Hector – Stindl, Draxler (c) – Werner (79. Can)
Chile: Bravo (c) – Isla, Medel, Jara, Beausejour – Díaz (53. Valencia) – Aránguiz (81. Sagal), Hernández – Vidal – Vargas (81. Puch), Sánchez
Referee: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)
Assistants: Milovan Ristić (Serbia), Dalibor Đurđević (Serbia)
Fourth Official: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
Video Assistant Referees: Clément Turpin (France), Jure Praprotnik (Slovenia)
Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)
Yellow Cards: Kimmich, Can, Rudy / Vidal, Jara, Vargas, Bravo
Red Cards: – / –
Ball Possession: 39% / 61%
Attempts on Target/Blocked: 5 / 13
Attempts off Target: 3 / 8
Corners: 4 / 9
Fouls Committed: 20 / 13
Man of the Match: Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany)