Germany have added the Confederations Cup to their World Cup and European Under-21 titles after beating Chile 1-0 in St Petersburg.
A youthful and largely second string side emerged victorious in Russia, winning a hard-fought final against the South American champions thanks to Lars Stindl’s tap in, after Marcelo Diaz’s error on the edge of his own penalty area.
Jogi Low’s men had stood firm in the early throes of the game, as Chile attacked with vigour and pressed ferociously.
But after missing a number of chances, Diaz’s mistake 20 yards from his own goal was pounced upon by Timo Werner, who unselfishly squared to Stindl, leaving the Borussia Monchengladbach man to roll into an empty net.
From there, a young Germany side – average age less than 25 – calmed down, and while Chile continued to dominate possession, it was Die Mannschaft who looked most likely to score a second, with player of the tournament Julian Draxler and Leon Goretzka both going close before the break.
La Roja had been rattled by the goal, but after Gonzalo Jara was issued with only a yellow card – courtesy of the video assistants – after an elbow on the tournament’s top scorer, Werner, Chile put Low’s side on the back foot for much of the final 25 minutes.
Arturo Vidal should have done better with a header, which went over the crossbar, before substitute Angelo Sagal, with his first kick of the competition, blazed over from six yards with the Germany goal gaping.
Low reckons he has 50 players capable of being in his final 23-man squad for Germany’s World Cup campaign in Russia in 2018 and their depth is remarkable, with the likes of Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira (plus others), all left at home from this tournament.
World Cup Champions
European U21 Champions
Confederations Cup Champions
Womens Euro Champions
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For Chile, their lack of a top-quality No.9 proved telling, as they failed to score in either knockout match.