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29.06.2017Bayer 04

Germany through to Confed Cup final

Germany are through to the Confed Cup final in Russia against Chile on Sunday. In the last four encounter, Germany beat Mexico 4-1 with Benjamin Henrichs in the starting eleven. The Werkself youngster played the full 90 minutes and provided the assist for the opening goal. "The future belongs to him too," said Germany coach Joachim Löw after the game. Julian Brandt came on as a sub and Chicharito missed a good chance for Mexico.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

When the Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana blew the whistle to start the game in front of 37,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Sochi, there were two Werkself players on the pitch. It was no surprise that record goalscorer Chicharito was in the starting line-up for Mexico: The fact that Benjamin Henrichs was chosen by Joachim Löw to start in this semi-final was both a surprise and, at the same time, a clear sign of confidence in the youngster shown by the Germany coach. Bernd Leno and Julian Brandt were on the bench and Andrés Guardado, who played four Bundesliga matches for Bayer 04 in 2014, missed out for El Tri due to a one-match ban.

Just five minutes into the game and Benny Henrichs made a decisive contribution to the match: His pinpoint low cross from the right wing was turned into the corner of the Mexican net from the edge of the box by Leon Goretzka to give Germany the lead on six minutes. And the Schalke player doubled the lead two minutes later with Timo Werner providing an excellent assist this time. With 20 minutes on the clock, Henrichs produced another great move with a ball through to Werner but the Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa was able to turn his shot round the post.

Chances for Benny and Chicha

In spite of the shock of the double whammy early on, Mexico were able to get into the game against an increasingly passive German side with Marc-André ter Stegen called into action on several occasions. The two Leverkusen players were the centre of attention within seconds of each other: First, Henrichs, who often was able to break away from his own half, was put off as he shot on 34 minutes and then Chicharito put the ball over the German net when unmarked in front of goal a minute later.

Just before the hour mark, Werner wrapped the game up by making it 3-0 with an assist from Jonas Hector. Raul Jiminez saw his header hit the German bar on 75 minutes. Shortly after that, Julian Brandt was brought on in place of Lars Stindl on 79 minutes. Just before the end of the game, the Frankfurt player Marco Fabian, also on as a substitute, hit a long-range shot into the net to make it 3-1. The Mexicans certainly deserved the consolation goal. Amin Younes, another substitute, rounded off the scoring in added time but Germany 4-1 up.

Germany now meet Chile in the final of the Confed Cup on Sunday. The match in Saint Petersburg kicks off at 20.00 CET. Before that at 14.00 CET, Moscow is the venue for the third-place play-off between Mexico and European champions Portugal. Both games are repeats of group matches – then without winners: Germany and Chile drew 1-1 and Portugal and Mexico 2-2. Neither results will be possible on Sunday.

Aránguiz makes no mistake

In the first semi-final on Wednesday night in Kazan, Chile and Portugal shared a goalless 120 minutes before the South American side went on to win 3-0 on penalties. In front of a 40,000 crowd the two teams competed on equal terms for much of the game that was dominated by defenders after a very entertaining opening phase. Charles Aranguiz went the full distance and had an impressive game in the centre of the midfield for La Roja And he also posed a threat up front. In the closing stages of extra time the Chileans were unlucky three times: First they were denied a penalty for a foul on Francisco Silva on 113 minutes and then both Arturo Vidal and Martin Rodriguez hit the woodwork on 119 minutes. In the penalty shootout it was the Chile keeper Claudio Bravo who proved to be the hero with three penalty saves to keep out Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani while Vidal, Aránguiz and Alexis Sanchez all converted their spot kicks.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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