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A Russian extravaganza & another German triumph

The FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 ended with a final that lived up to the expectations generated by the tournament. Though Germany, who racked up more victories than any other side, lifted the trophy, the finest generation of players Chile has ever produced made them work for it. La Roja enjoyed 61 per cent of possession in the final and had 21 attempts on the goal defended by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the Budweiser Man of the Match.

With the dust having now settled on an absorbing final at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, brings you its tournament round-up.

*The podium *1. Germany
2. Chile
3. Portugal

The highlights

  • “I used to cheer whenever (Marcelo) Matador Salas scored and I’m so proud of this record,” said Alexis Sanchez after finding the back of the net against Germany in the group phase and overtaking the legendary Salas to become Chile’s all-time leading marksman with 38 goals. Sanchez’s strike against the Germans was also the 400th in the history of the FIFA Confederations Cup.
  • If you are going to beat a record, then a semi-final is a good place to do it, as Germany’s Leon Goretzka can vouch for after recording the fastest ever brace in the history of the tournament against Mexico. In scoring in the sixth and eighth minutes, Goretzka eclipsed Argentina’s Gabriel Batistuta, who struck twice within the first ten minutes of his side’s meeting with Côte d’Ivoire in 1992.
  • As well as top-scoring in the competition with 12 goals and boasting the three leading marksmen in the tournament in Timo Werner, Lars Stindl and Goretzka – who scored three apiece – Die Mannschaft registered one other statistic that reflects their quality: with an average age of 24 years and four months, they are the youngest victors in the history of the Tournament of Champions.
  • Though New Zealand were knocked out in the first round, they at least ended a long-running curse, with Chris Wood’s 42nd-minute strike against Mexico proving the All Whites’ first in 565 minutes in the competition. Their previous goal in the Confederations Cup came in the 3-1 defeat to Colombia at France 2003, after which they went a little over six whole matches before Wood ended the hoodoo.

*The stat *100 is a magic number and there are several ways of reaching it. Australia’s Tim Cahill, Portugal’s Joao Moutinho and Russia’s Igor Akinfeev all clocked up their 100th caps during the competition, while Joachim Low oversaw his 100th win as Germany coach in his 150th match in charge.

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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