Germany are undoubtedly the best footballing nation in the universe currently after they added the Confederations Cup to their list of laurels barely two days after their under-21 squad won the European Championship, as they hope to defend their World Cup title in Russia next year.
Lars Stindl’s first-half strike saw Germany beat Chile 1-0 in Sunday night’s Confederations Cup final in St Petersburg. The Borussia Monchengladbach striker took advantage of some calamitous defending by Chile to fire the world champions ahead after just 20 minutes.
In a disjointed and bad-tempered second period, the South Americans could have found themselves down to 10 men after the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee just past the hour-mark.
Gonzalo Jara’s stray elbow caught Timo Werner flush in the face, but after consulting his monitor on the touchline, Serbian referee Milorad Mazic controversially handed out a yellow, rather than a red.
Thereafter, Germany saw the match out to add a first-ever Confederations Cup title to the European U21 crown they won on Friday night, although Chile will wonder how they failed to level matters late on.
Arturo Vidal had said in the lead-up to the game that Chile could prove they are the world’s best team by beating Germany, and Juan Antonio Pizzi’s team started as though they meant business.
The Copa America winners had numerous chances to take an early lead at the Krestovsky Stadium, only to find Marc-Andre ter Stegen in inspired form in the German goal.
The Barcelona goalkeeper – who was 2nd choice behind his Chilean counterpart last season – had to be alert to keep out Vidal’s close-range effort after just five minutes following a strong run into the area by Charles Aranguiz, although he was slightly fortunate a quarter of an hour later.
With three minutes of added time left, the Chileans poured everything into the game but the resilient German defence fought back wave after wave of attacks. Alexis Sanchez came close as he curled a free kick past the defensive wall but Ter Stegen denied the Arsenal striker any hopes of sending the game into extra time.