By James Agberebi:
Germany have emerged champions of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia after defeating Chile 1-0 in Sunday’s final in St. Petersburg.
The only goal of the game was scored by Lars Stindl after a mistake by Chile defender Marcelo Diaz.
It is the first time ever that Germany will be crowned Confederations Cup winners and become the third European country after Denmark (1995) and France (2001 and 2003) to win the tournament.
Also Germany are the third country to win the Confederations Cup as world champions following in the footsteps of Brazil (1997 and 2005) and France (2001).
Chile were the better side in the early part of the game with Arturo Vidal, Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez all going close but a combination of poor finishing and good saves from man of the match Marc-Andre Ter Stegen kept the game level.
But it was Germany who took the lead against the run of play on 20 minutes as Marcelo Diaz’s error in Chile’s defence was punished by Stindl who tapped into an empty goal.
Germany almost doubled their lead following another error by Gary Medel but the assistant referee saved their blushes when he raised his flag up for offside.
In the 36th minute, Leon Goretzka went close for Germany only to see his low right foot shot narrowly going wide.
Germany went close again on 40 minutes, this time through skipper Julian Draxler, but he could not finish off Jonas Hector’s pass as his effort went inches wide.
On the stroke of half-time, another mistake by the Chilean defence almost saw Germany double their lead but a one-on-one save by Claudio Bravo prevented Goretzka from scoring.
Draxler should have scored for Germany in the 56th minute following a breakaway but his goal-bound effort took a slight deflection and went away for a corner.
Sanchez had a chance to equalise for Chile in the 72nd minute only to see his shot blocked by Sebastian Rudy.
A minute later Vargas and Vidal were denied by Ter Stegen who made two brilliant saves to preserve Germany’s slim lead.
With 10 minutes left, Charles Aranguiz volleyed a low shot but once again Ter Stegen parried the ball away for a corner.
In the 85th minute, Angelo Sagal had a golden chance to equalise for Chile but blasted his effort over the bar from six yards.
And in the 95th minute, Ter Stegen made a superb save to deny Sanchez from grabbing a late equaliser from a well taken free-kick.