Con-Fed-Up-Cup: Day Thirteen Review

The second semi-final of the 2017 Confederations Cup kicked off at 7pm GMT and was all but done and dusted by around 7.10pm as Germany sailed into a 2-0 lead against Mexico. The World Champions took the lead after about five minutes when Leon Goretzka started and finished a clinical counter attack. He sprayed the ball out to right-wing-back, Benjamin Henrichs, who played it in front of the central midfielder, who slotted it past Guillermo Ochoa into the bottom corner. A finish quite similar to Gonzalo Higuain’s first goal against Monaco in the Champions League semi-final last season, only that semi-final was important.

Mexico’s frail defence was being exploited by an exuberant German side who doubled their lead just moments later. Timo Werner’s smart ball found Goretzka marauding forward and the Schalke man stroke the ball past the onrushing Ochoa and headed off to the corner flag to celebrate. Before the game started, there was a slight chance of this game being interesting but that hope diminished with Germany’s second goal which proved to take the game away from Mexico.

It was a valiant effort by the Gold Cup holders, who pressed to get back into the game but to no avail. Timo Werner grabbed the goal he deserved after Jonas Hector’s cut-back left Werner with an open goal to tap the ball into. All the players on the pitch looked towards the linesman, some in hope, some in anxiety and some in the stands in boredom. The flag stayed down and Werner got his name on the score sheet. Mexico striker Raul Jimenez went close on a couple of occasions, including a shot that hit the bar but El Tri could not find a way past Germany’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Some people may remember Rafael Marquez from the 1999 Confed Cup and are now expecting me to tell you which retirement home he is staying in. But he was on the pitch in Sochi in probably his final appearance for Mexico and almost pulled one back but was denied by ter Stegen from a corner. Frankfurt midfielder, Marco Fabian, scored an absolute scorcher to make it 3-1, his 30-yard strike soared into the top corner, flying past ter Stegen who had no chance.

Ajax’s Amin Younes grabbed a fourth for Germany in added time to clinch their place in the final on Sunday. They will face Chile for the second time in the tournament after they beat Portugal in the other semi while Mexico are banished to the third-place play-off on Saturday against a Portugal minus Cristiano Ronaldo after he jetted off to meet his newborn twins and who could blame him?