Chile, Germany Seek First Confederations Cup Win

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Regardless of what happens in the FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 final in St. Petersburg on Sunday, one thing is sure-. a new name on the trophy. After Brazil, France, Argentina, Mexico and Denmark, there will be a new name on the trophy, as both Germany and Chile are in the final of this tournament for the first time

Meanwhile, Joachim Loew hailed Germany’s “brilliant” 4-1 win over Mexico in the Confederations Cup semifinal and said his youthful squad are ambitious enough to beat Chile in the final.

Loew opted not to bring his World Cup winning stars to the Confederations Cup, but Germany’s young guns booked their place in Sunday’s final in St Petersburg after a devastating opening spell in Sochi.

“From the beginning, we did exactly what we set out to do — we were very dominant and brilliant in the opening stages,” said Germany’s head coach Loew.

“They pushed us back a bit in the second phase of the first half, which was to be expected, and we gave up a lot of ball. All in all, 4-1 is a great result. We wanted to go far, but this is nothing that we could have expected at the start of the tournament.”

After Germany drew 1-1 with Chile in the group stages last Thursday, Loew says his team is hungry enough to beat the Copa America champions in the final.

“Chile is the most powerful opponent in this tournament, we know them pretty well and we expect them to go for it in the final. They will be trying flat out to pull it off, as they are coming to the end of their season, and we will have to try and counter that,” said Loew.

“A lot of work has gone into our wins. We couldn’t pre-empt this (reaching the final) as some players had little experience and you couldn’t calculate how they’d react. We’ve become a team over the last few weeks. There’s fun in the dressing room, but they aren’t over the top. They know there is work ahead and they are ambitious enough to beat Chile.”

Goretzka and Werner are now the tournament’s joint top-scorers with three goals each.

After scoring twice in Sochi, Goretzka says the Germans have a score to settle against Chile.

“I was really happy to help the team with the two goals, our single-minded goal was to reach the final so we’re delighted,” said Goretzka.

“There is only one match to go. We’re looking forward to playing Chile again, because in the second half (of the group stage match) we had the feeling the draw was not enough.

“Now we have another chance against this top flight team.

“In the first few minutes, we didn’t do so well against Chile, so (against Mexico) we really wanted to get down to brass tacks and the two quick goals really calmed the team. We now need to reward ourselves for our hard work and we want to get the title.”

The Mexicans play Portugal in Sunday’s third-place play-off in Moscow.

Players to look out for:

Leon Goretzka  – Germany

The 22-year-old Schalke central midfielder was die Mannschaft’s shining light on Monday night versus Australia. Omnipresent throughout the fixture, he had the composure to draw in a challenge, leading to a penalty, late on in the first half. Goretzka then smashed an unstoppable shot past Maty Ryan to earn him his first senior goal for the national side four minutes into the second half.  Having only played competitively on two prior occasions for Löw, both versus San Marino, his display against Australia should have cemented him a guaranteed start against Chile.  Playing 41 times for Schalke last season, both domestically and in the Europa League, the central midfielder scored eight times, assisting six—a good return in an overwhelmingly disappointing season for the Royal Blues. His hold up play and defensive contributions allow him to play centrally or as a defensive midfielder.  However, with an ability to cut inside and link up well with those around him, he can be relied upon to play further up the field and build the attack.

Arturo Vidal  – Chile

Vidal will be all too familiar to his German opponents on Thursday night; the Bayern München midfielder is well versed in winning competitions, carrying a significant threat to any side he faces. Scoring La Roja’s opening goal on Sunday, Vidal rose to head home from six yards following a cross by Alexis Sanchez — a powerful header typifying the strength he carries on the pitch. Vidal has the tag as one of the best midfielders in the world for a very good reason—his all-round game is almost perfect. Short or long range passing brings little concern, his ability to hold up the ball, or drive and strike the finish, allows the 30-year-old to play centrally, defensively or as the attacking midfielder.  The only Achilles heel to his game is his tendency to be caught up in a ‘hotheaded moment’. With this game coming in the group stages, and not having the pressure of knock out football, there should be no reason for Vidal to be caught up in any descending red mist. His experience at the very highest levels of competitive football brings a danger that could undo a young German midfield.