Timo Werner netted twice as Germany set up a Confederations Cup semi-final against Mexico with a 3-1 win on Sunday against 10-man Cameroon, who initially had the wrong player sent off.
Germany midfielder Kerem Demirbay opened the scoring just after the break before Werner struck either side of Vincent Aboubakar’s consolation effort for Cameroon on 78 minutes.
But the video assistant referee system was again thrust into the spotlight when Cameroon defender Ernest Mabouka was sent off just past the hour for a dangerous tackle on Liverpool’s Emre Can.
The victory in Sochi meant Germany finished top of Group B ahead of Chile, who drew 1-1 with Australia in Moscow.
The Germans face Group A runners-up Mexico in Sochi next Thursday in their semi-final, while Chile will face Portugal on Wednesday in Kazan.
Joachim Loew reached the milestone of 100 wins in his 150th international as Germany’s head coach. He maintained his impressive record of steering the national team to the semi-finals of every tournament over the last decade.
“I have to say I am very proud and full of praise for the team for reaching the semi-finals,” said Loew. “We didn’t necessarily expect this in the build-up from such a young team. The lads have done a good job.” Loew made four changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Chile on Thursday.
Chile draw against impressive Socceroos
Martin Rodriguez rescued a 1-1 draw for Chile against Australia on Sunday to send the South American champions through to a Confederations Cup semi-final against Portugal.
James Troisi steered Australia ahead on 42 minutes in Moscow, but Chile replied through half-time substitute Rodriguez on 67 minutes to advance as Group B runners-up behind Germany.
Germany progressed as group winners following a 3-1 victory over Cameroon in Sochi, with the world champions to face Mexico for a place in the July 2 final in Saint Petersburg.
Chile’s coach insisted they had not underestimated Australia after Troisi gave the Socceroos a shock lead. “In fact that could have been a quarter-final in the World Cup, such was the level of this game,” said Juan Antonio Pizzi.
“We are happy to reach the semi-finals and reach that aim. Now we must refocus on our next ambition.”
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou regretted missed opportunities as they bow out of the Confed Cup after two draws and a defeat.
“We wanted to get out of the group and we haven’t, so we are disappointed,” said Postecoglou. “They (Chile) are a world class team, a fantastic team, and have played some of the best teams in the world off the park,” he added.
Australian centre-back Trent Sainsbury missed a glorious chance for a second goal before the break, lashing wildly over on the volley after Chile’s defence momentarily switched off.
But the introduction of Rodriguez and Pablo Hernandez at half-time proved crucial as Chile levelled midway through the second half.
Eduardo Vargas beat his marker to a looping ball in the area, knocking down into the path of Rodriguez who smuggled the ball beyond Matt Ryan for his first international goal.
Vargas headed fractionally wide after Sanchez had escaped down the left and picked out his striking partner, while Jamie MacLaren miscued badly in front of Bravo after a brilliant delivery from Troisi before the contest gradually petered out.