Gonzalo Jara

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.

[ MORE: 2017 Confederations Cup news ]

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.

Three key battles in Confederations Cup final

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Germany and Chile both shoot for their first Confederations Cup trophy as they meet on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET at St. Petersburg Stadium in Russia.

The match will no doubt be hotly contested, with Chile looking quality at the back, and Germany impressing despite not bringing their first-choice squad.

So, where will the match be won? There will be multiple points of interest for fans to keep an eye on as the game flows.

1. Alexis Sanchez vs. Josh Kimmich

The Arsenal superstar has had a relatively mum tournament, and while Chile has yet to be beaten, the attack has not entirely impressed. Sanchez will now likely see a lot of young Joshua Kimmich in the final, with the Bayern Munich utility man likely to be deployed on Sanchez’s flank.

At just 22 years old, Kimmich has proven much more than his age would suggest. He is the only German to start the last 18 straight games for the national team, and has played the full 90 minutes or more in each one of those matches. However, the German defense hasn’t been rock solid in Russia. Matthias Ginter has proven vulnerable at times, and even Kimmich has shown a slight weakness in the air (see: Cameroon’s goal).

Kimmich has a tall task ahead of him, but if any 22-year-old can take care of business, it’s the German all-star who has risen to heights so great he’s expected to eventually earn the captain’s armband for his country on a long-term basis. Can he stop Alexis Sanchez, who may be playing to earn a few more Premier League bucks?

2. Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara vs. Timo Werner

Germany may not have brought it’s “A” team, but Timo Werner is making a case to be a part of the first-choice squad when Joachim Low picks his 2018 World Cup team. The 21-year-old has three goals in the last two games, and looks to be a high quality player for the future, and even now.

Chile’s strength lies in its organization and defense. While the offense hasn’t exactly clicked this tournament, the back line has been solid. They have allowed just two goals all tournament, and the two central defenders have been a big reason why. Both sport over 100 caps, and only a slight injury to Medel has kept the pair from playing every minute together in Russia. They are highly experienced, and will need that to stop the prolific German spearheading the attack.

3. Arturo Vidal vs. Julian Draxler

Arturo Vidal never holds back. He never has, and he never will. Julian Draxler will be the next man to face the Chilean’s wrath as the two meet again. They have faced off many times in the past in Bundesliga play before Draxler’s move to PSG, so these two will be quite familiar with one another.

The 23-year-old German has been prolific this tournament, and although he’s only had a direct hand in two of Germany’s 11 Confederations Cup goals, he has been one of the best players in the side. Draxler’s technical ability and pace on the ball has opened things up in the German attack, and Vidal’s crunching style will be key in stopping his counterpart.

What time do Germany-Chile play in Confederations Cup 2017?

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KAZAN, Russia. – Die Nationalmannschaft have made two previous appearances at the FIFA Confederations Cup, the first of them coming at Mexico 1999, where the likes of Lothar Matthaus, Jens Lehmann and a young Michael Ballack formed part of a side that went out in the group phase. Germany will be heading to their third Festival of Champions as reigning World Cup holders, having secured a long-awaited fourth title at Brazil 2014. Tactically astute, technically gifted and well drilled, Joachim Low’s formidable side went unbeaten throughout the whole competition.

This will be Chile’s first appearance in this competition. Chile qualified for the Festival of Champions by winning a long-awaited and maiden Copa America title in July 2015. This historic feat, achieved on home soil, was secured with a tactically astute and ultra-attacking side that were able to handle the pressure and expectation of being hosts.

Thursday, June 22nd of 2017: Germany vs. Chile a las 2:00PM ET/1:00PM CT/11:00AM PT, live and exclusively on Telemundo and Telemundo Deportes En Vivo App.

Possible Lineups:

Germany: Kevin Trapp, Jonas Hector, Benedikt Hoewedes, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos, Mesut Oezil, Andre Schuerlle, Thomas Mueller y Mario Gomez.

Chile: Claudio Bravo, Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Jean Beausejour, Charles Aranguiz, José Fuenzalida, Jorge Valdivia, Arturo Vidal, Eduardo Vargas y Alexis Sánchez.

What time do Cameroon-Chile play in Confederations Cup 2017?

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MOSCOW, Russia. – Cameroon will be making their third FIFA Confederations Cup appearance at Russia 2017, having graced the competition twice in a row at the start of the millennium. Despite a glorious past and its four continental titles, Cameroon went into the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 as outsiders, with a young and largely inexperienced squad and with confidence low after a string of disappointing results at recent international competitions. The surprise finalists rallied by their nucleus of more experienced players, with Nicolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboubakar scoring the goals that brought the country a fifth Africa Cup of Nations win.

This will be Chile’s first appearance in this competition. Chile qualified for the Festival of Champions by winning a long-awaited and maiden Copa America title in July 2015. This historic feat, achieved on home soil, was secured with a tactically astute and ultra-attacking side that were able to handle the pressure and expectation of being hosts.

Sunday, June 18th of 2017: Cameroon vs. Chile at 2:00PM ET/1:00PM CT/11:00AM PT, live and exclusively on Telemundo and Telemundo Deportes En Vivo App

Possible Lineups:

Cameroon: Joseph Ondoa, Adolphe Teikeu, Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Ambroise Oyongo, Collins Faï, Jacques Zoua, Arnaud Sutchuin Djum, Sebastien Siani, Robert Ndip Tambe, Benjamin Moukandjo y Christian Bassogog.

Chile: Claudio Bravo, Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Jean Beausejour, Charles Aranguiz, José Fuenzalida, Jorge Valdivia, Arturo Vidal, Eduardo Vargas y Alexis Sánchez.

Chile dispatches of Colombia en route to Copa America final

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Unfortunately for everyone in Chile’s way, the team seems to be getting better and better with every match at this summer’s Copa America Centenario.

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Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side continued where they left off against Mexico, picking up a 2-0 win against Colombia on Wednesday night in the tournament’s second semifinal.

Charles Aránguiz and Jose Fuenzalida gave the Chileans an early lead, notching goals in the seventh and 11th minutes, respectively.

A lengthy weather delay forced the teams into the locker room for an extended period during halftime, but play resumed after nearly two-and-a-half hours.

Needing a goal to find its way back into the match, Colombia came out strong to open the second half, and had a legitimate claim for a penalty kick in the 47th minute. Los Cafeteros employed effective high pressure and Daniel Torres nearly drew a spot kick after beating Gonzalo Jara to the ball on an errant pass and being taken down.

Colombia’s attempt at a comeback took a massive hit in the 57th minute, though, when Carlos Sanchez received his second yellow card. With the Colombians forced to play with 10 men for the remainder of the match, their uphill battle was simply too difficult to conquer.

Chile will take on Argentina in the tournament finale on Sunday night — a rematch of 2015 Copa America final — while Colombia will face the U.S. Men’s National Team in the third-place game on Saturday.