Germany played its second game of the FIFA Confederations Cup against South American champions Chile on Thursday.
After both teams had won their respective group stage openers and the other two sides of the section, namely Cameroon and Australia tied 1-1 earlier that day, it was clear that any potential winner in this game would ensure a place in the tournament’s semifinals with one match to spare.
The Chileans imposed their physicality on the young German team early on and forced them to make mistakes.
When Germany’s Arsenal-based defender Shkodran Mustafi misplaced a pass out of the back, La Roja pounced. The ball came to Alexis Sanchez who scored, making it 1-0 for Chile and giving himself the honor of becoming the top scorer in his country’s history.
The South American champions continued their dominance throughout much of the first half, but were unable to add to their lead.
As so often happens when that is the case, one good attack by the opposition was enough for the equalizer.
Emre Can found Jonas Hector on the left flank, who then passed the ball to Lars Stindl, who scored 1-1 at the break.
The strike put the Borussia Mönchengladbach man on top of the Confederations Cup scoring charts.
Knowing how valuable a point from this draw would be for both teams, saying that neither side put any offensive fireworks on display in the second half would be a major understatement.
They both made sure that they did nothing further wrong defensively. Thus the 1-1 draw remained on the scoreboard until the end, putting both teams on the verge of the semifinals.
Germany faces Cameroon on Sunday in its final group game, while Chile’s La Roja takes on the Socceroos of Australia at the same time.
Both the World Cup winners and the South American champions will then only need a further point to ensure they advance.