Champs, again! Germany top Chile in contentious Confed Cup final

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With Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Chile in Saint Petersburg, Russia, you can add the Confederations Cup to the miles-long list of international tournaments (at senior and various youth levels) in which Germany have triumphed over the years.

Chile, on the other hand, were denied a third straight summer with a major international trophy after topping Argentina in the Copa America final in each the summer of 2015 and 2016.

Lars Stindl’s 20th-minute goal, the only one of the game and Stindl’s 2017 Confederations Cup-leading third goal of the tournament (tied with teammates Leon Goretzka and Timo Werner), was all Joachim Loew’s side would need 12 months before they begin defense of their 2014 World Cup title.

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Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called upon to make a massive save fewer than five minutes into the game, as Arturo Vidal and Eduardo combined down the left flank to put Charles Aranguiz through on Ter Stegen. The ball eventually fell to Vidal atop the six-yard box, but Barcelona’s no. 1 denied him at the near post.

15 minutes later, disaster struck for La Roja. Marcelo Diaz, on top of his own 18-yard box, turned the wrong way and gifted the ball to the on-rushing Werner, who needed just one touch to dispossess the Chilean defender and draw Claudio Bravo off his line. Werner played the simple square ball to Stindl, and the Borussia Monchengladbach striker tapped the ball into an empty net.

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Seeing how this summer’s Confederations Cup will forever be remembered for the introduction and implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), one final flubbed video review was the perfect way to close out the tournaments. Gonzalo Jara elbowed Werner in the jaw as he ran past him, which prompted referee Milorad Mazic to look at the replay. In the end, a yellow card was shown for the clear-cut red-card offense.

The battle for places in Loew’s squad next summer, given the fact his “B-team” cruised to Confederations Cup glory, will be a fascinating subplot as the new European club season kicks off in August.