Back-to-back Copa America champions Chile were held to a draw by a young German side in their Confederations Cup clash at the Kazan Arena. Alexis Sanchez punished a mistake by Arsenal colleague Shkodran Mustafi to open the scoring for the Chileans in the 6th minute, taking him past Marcelo Salas as Chile’s all-time record goalscorer with 38 goals.
Borussia Monchengladbach forward Lars Stindl then converted a low cross from Jonas Hector to level matters on the night. The game petered out towards the end of the second half as both sides were well set up defensively to prevent each other from finding the winner.
Here are the talking points from the encounter at Kazan:
#1 Youthful Germany struggle against Chile’s movement in the early stages
A German side minus their senior players – viz. Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller – were up against a strong Chilean outfit at the Kazan Arena. So it was hardly a surprise to see that it was the South American champions who were quicker off the blocks than their European opponents.
Led by the ever-energetic Alexis Sanchez, Chile moved the ball quickly across midfield and made darting runs into the penalty area, thus putting the inexperienced Germans on the backfoot straight away.
Individual mistakes by the world champions in their defensive third to give away possession was further evidence of their vulnerability in the opening half an hour. They were lucky not to be further than one behind when Lars Stindl found the back of the net late in the first half, as Chile failed to pounce on defensive errors committed by the Germans earlier in the game.