Word champions Germany have added another trophy to their cabinet having beaten Chile 1-0 in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup final in Saint Petersburg.
With Under-21 charges grabbing the European title earlier in June, it’s fair to say Germany have dominated world football this summer and here are the five things we learned as Joachim Loew and his charges lift the trophy in Russia:
A Deserved Triumph
It was a hard-fought final against the resilient Chile side, but the world champions still emerged victorious thanks to Lars Stindl’s tap-in after Marcelo Diaz made an error on the edge of his own penalty area to literally present Germany with a chance they rarely ever fail to miss.
Chile proved they are no pushovers as the South American champions attacked with vigour and pressed fiercely but Joachim Loew’s men stood their ground and opposed experience with youth and utter commitment.
Germany will always punish you for the mistakes which Chile found out the hard way. Instead of going up after a nice goal chance inside the Germany’s bos, Mexico ended up conceding what ultimately proved to be a winning goal for Germany and not a single living soul will deny they deserved to win. More so given Germany’s overall performance at the tournament.
Russia A Generation’s Last Chance?
Chile came to Russia to prove themselves as the world’s best side. It was Arturo Vidal who made such a bold claim, believing his nation would be able to claim the third consecutive international honour.
Back-to-back Copa America winners gave their best against the young and fervent German side and almost managed to do what they came to do. The South American champions were on the front foot from the off, pressing a relatively inexperienced side rather hard.
The competition’s oldest squad with the age average of 29.2 ultimately failed victim to its own mistakes at the most opportune moment. The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia was supposed to be a warm up for the main event at the same venue next year which might just end up being this generation’s last chance.
The 34-year-old Claudio Bravo is not getting any younger, whereas time is also running on Arturo Vidal (30), Gary Medel (29) and Alexis Sanchez (28) as Chile’s key stars who face big and challenging seasons ahead of them in what could be a defining year for all three of them at the club level.
Germany’s Bright Future
Plenty of eyebrows – and questions alike – were raised after Joachim Loew announced his Confederations Cup squad list.
Germany manager decided to travel to Russia with a young and inexperienced side, which was described as ‘experimental’. All of those who are familiar with German character and mentality, however, will know that Germans will perform their experiments in controlled conditions and on the back of a great research, which ended up being the case once more.
Despite lacking the likes of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and plenty of other key players, Germany once again proved to the world they are the top-quality football nation with enough of talent to fill in more than just two trophy-winning sides.
The summer of 2017 brought a double success to German football and proved that this European nation has little to worry about when it comes to their football future.
Russia Passes the Test
The 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts have done well enough to pass the test less than a year before best football nations in the world come back to fight for the most coveted trophy there is.
Russia faced plenty of criticism and organization doubts as football world feared for the participants and visitors’ safety above all. The notorious Russian hooligans were muted and expect to remain at bay when football returns to Russia next summer, whereas apart from minor logistic issues there were no real problems with the organization of the Confederations Cup.
Russia seems to have passed the test with flying colours and we expect the World Cup hosts to learn from the mistakes to make sure next year’s big event be impeccable.
VAR, On the Other Side, Doesn’t
The hosts might have passed the test, but it looks like the same could not be said for the VAR technology.
Video assistance proved handy and useful, but in many occasions during the Confederations Cup brought nothing but confusion to the game. That was exactly the case tonight, particularly 20 minutes inside the second half when Gonzalo Jara elbowed Timo Werner.
The referee decided to use the help of the VARs and it looked like there can only be one outcome for the Chile defender. However, when Milorad Mazic brandished a yellow card there was a slight sentiment on confusion around.
As if the fact referee missed to see the clear-cut incident such as this one was not enough, it was the farcical interpretation of rules by those watching it on the screen that baffled the viewers most.
It is undeniably ushering football as we know it into a new era and it looks like it is up to the humans to adapt. As if they ever will.
CHILE: Bravo 6.5 – Isla 6.5, Jara 6, Medel 7, Beausejour 6.5 – Diaz 6 (Valencia 6.5) – Aranguiz 6 (Sagal 6), Hernandez 7 – Vidal 6.5 – Sanchez6, Vargas 6.5 (Puch 6).
Unused subs: Diaz, Fuenzalida, Gutierrez, Herrera, Mena, Roco, Rodriguez, Silva, Toselli.
GERMANY: Ter Stegen 7 – Mustafi 7, Ginter 6.5, Rudiger 7 – Kimmich 7, Rudy 6.5, Goretzka 6.5 (Sule -), Hector 7 – Draxler 6.5, Werner 7 (Can -), Stindl 7.5.
Unused subs: Brandt, Demirbay, Henrichs, Leno, Plattenhardt, Trapp, Wagner, Younes.
REFEREE: Milorad Mazic
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