Con-Fed-Up-Cup: Final Review – It’s Finally Over

The ball was with Marcelo Diaz on the edge of the Chile box, he was being closed down by Lars Stindl but all he had to do was either hoof it up-field, send it out wide or even pass back to Claudio Bravo. Diaz did none of the above and turned right into Timo Werner who snatched the ball off him and squared to an unmarked Lars Stindl and Germany went 1-0 up. 1-0 it finished and the goal really summed up the tournament as a whole; sloppy play and the Germans ending up benefitting from it.

So, Germany have won the Confederations Cup but they were made to fight for it despite being gifted their goal. It was a feisty affair with Chile, with the referee and VAR at the centre of it all. Chile started off much the better team and came close to going ahead on a number of occasions in the opening stages in St. Petersburg. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was playing a blinder in goal and Chile were wasteful when given the opportunities. That combination saw Germany take a slim lead into the halftime break.

The second half had less goalmouth action, thankfully for Claudio Bravo, but it sure was eventful. Gonzalo Jara, formally of Nottingham Forest and West Brom, appeared to elbow Timo Werner in the face, Chile protested and the referee went to VAR. The result should’ve been a certain red card for Jara but, despite looking at a replay himself, Milorad Mazic merely booked the defender for the offence. The referee was almost bullied into looking into a Chile penalty shout when he was adamant he wouldn’t refer to VAR…he eventually did. The decision wasn’t changed and it wasted a lot of time. Tempers flared between club-mates as Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich and Arturo Vidal had a bit of a squabble while Emre Can and Claudio Bravo were both booked for playing rugby.

Alexis Sanchez had the chance to equalise for Chile deep into added time as he stood over a free kick on the edge of the box. The Arsenal winger struck the ball well but it was a good height for ter Stegen, who batted it away from danger, the other side of his goal was being protected by a defender (that’s how you do it, Ander Herrera). Julian Draxler picked up the Confed Cup trophy as captain and the Golden Ball for being the best player at the tournament. Timo Werner nabbed the Golden Boot and Claudio Bravo the Golden Glove.

Since it’s the end of the tournament, I would do a list of quirky awards that are awarded to the wackiest people and moments during the competition but the Confed Cup was simply too dull, apart from the farce of VAR, to make this list more than a couple of things. For organisers, the tournament can be deemed a success with nothing major going wrong and the security in and around the stadiums has been heavy but efficient. Oh, and by the way, Portugal beat Mexico to secure 3rd place, I’m not ashamed I almost forgot to mention that. See you in a year Russia for some proper football.